In Arizona, if a court determines that a spouse is eligible to receive maintenance, the court must then determine the amount and duration of the maintenance payments. To make this determination, Arizona courts must use the Arizona maintenance factors as provided by Arizona law. In this article, we will take a look at the factors.
Arizona Maintenance Amount and Duration Factors
Section 25-319 of the Arizona Revised Statutes provides 13 factors for use by Arizona family law courts when making a maintenance award. The factors are as follows:
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse's needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market;
- The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse;
- The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse;
- The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children;
- The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse's ability to meet that spouse's own needs independently;
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available;
- Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common;
- The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved; and
- All actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.
An Arizona maintenance order shall be in an amount and for a period of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, and after considering the above relevant factors. No single factor is controlling, and an Arizona family law court will consider all circumstances of the spouses. After considering the 13 factors, a court will make the maintenance award and set the maintenance amount and duration. If both spouses agree, the maintenance order and a decree of divorce or legal separation may state that its maintenance terms shall not be modified.