Why Shouldn’t My Spouse Pay Me Forever?

Cindy Best

Many spouses getting divorced are sad and upset. For some reason, those feelings sometimes translate into a feeling of entitlement. Somehow, someway, someone believes that the other party owes you something. The issue with this thinking leads to fear, high costs in litigation, and continued resentment. Let’s tackle the issue of alimony, called spousal maintenance in Arizona. When can someone get it? There is threshold test of whether the spouse can support themselves. Here are some examples: if you make $40,000 to $60,000, can you get spousal maintenance? Maybe. Yes, that is a fuzzy answer because spousal is very unclear.  What if you used to make $50,000 but have not worked for 10 years? Can the court make you get a job? Yes, the court can determine your earning potential, even if you don’t have a job, and make that your earning amount to determine if you can get spousal maintenance. So, if you were a teacher or a secretary, you will need to get back to work. What happens if you are 63 and have not worked for 35 years? That is a different scenario and difficult to answer. I hope the take away is that this is complicated area of law, so make sure you consider  these: 1. What is your budget once you are divorced?  2. Get a job  3. Then and only then can you consider how the spousal maintenance might be settled.

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