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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Circumstances under which spousal maintenance may be awarded

Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support, is a common divorce issue that many Arizona couples confront when they choose to end their relationships. However, an award of support is not guaranteed simply because a divorce is filed. In Phoenix a person must request support from their partner and must demonstrate that it is necessary before a court will approve it.

State law recognizes several circumstances under which alimony may be appropriate. One of those circumstances occurs when the requesting spouse does not possess enough wealth or property on which to take care of themselves after their divorce. After a couple works through its divorce-related property settlement a party may know if they are able to take care of their own needs; if they cannot maintain themselves, they may have a case for spousal maintenance.

Politician and wife to end marriage in divorce

Even though his political aspirations never reached to Arizona, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is a figure who has national recognition for his strong opinions and constant involvement in current events. When the presidential transition occurred just last year, Giuliani was considered a frontrunner for national appointed positions; today, though, he is in the news for a much more personal reason.

Giuliani and his wife have decided to end their marriage in divorce. This is Giuliani's third marriage and his union to his wife lasted for 15 years. His soon-to-be ex-wife has indicated that she will fight for her martial property rights, including to her rights in properties in the state of New York as well as other locations.

What happens if I outlive my ex who pays me alimony?

The financial support that a Phoenix resident receives from their former spouse can be an important part of the income they need to survive. If the payer of alimony passes on before the recipient, the recipient can be left in a difficult situation wherein they must still go on living but potentially without the money they need. Although all cases of alimony should be reviewed with attorneys who practice family law, in some cases the payer of alimony may continue to be responsible for providing for their ex even after their death.

If the recipient of alimony is determined to require support for the rest of their life, such as if they are unable to work due to age or infirmity, then a payer may be required to provide them with support through their estate. Consultation with legal professionals can be an important part of ensuring this important requirement is met.

Child's best interests may lead to father gaining custody

There is a traditional notion throughout the country that women are the better caregivers to their children than men. This may stem from the common past practices of husbands working outside of the home while wives stayed with the couple's kids and attended to their daily needs. Parents in Arizona know, though, that things have changed. Families do what they need to put food on the table and to make sure that their children have what they need to thrive.

As such, notions of what may or may not serve a child's best interests have had to change with the times. Whereas a mother may have once been the presumptive recipient of custody of the kids in a divorce, now a father may be the better fit for a child as their mom and dad transition through a divorce. Although every child custody case will proceed based on its own facts, fathers can make strong cases to advocate for their custodial roles.

Get case-specific answers to individual child support questions

To the casual observer, Arizona state laws may seem clear and specific. What is stated in the statutes should be applied to all cases that fall under the particular areas of legislation in question for different legal cases. However, anyone who has had to work through a family law matter may know that the clarity of divorce, support and custody laws is anything but precise. This is because subjective standards, complex formulas and other ambiguous considerations can all come into play to ensure that unique family law matters are assessed fairly and receive appropriate outcomes.

In no area of family law is this truer than in the computation and applicability of child support. Child support is financial support paid by a noncustodial parent for the benefit of their children. Although the state administers guidelines that dictate how much a parent must pay for the benefit of their kids, the results of the guidelines can be adjusted by the kids' needs, the parent's capacity to pay and a host of other factors.

Does remarriage end an alimony obligation?

Divorce is a relatively common occurrence in the lives of Arizona residents, and some individuals who choose to end their marriages decide later on that they would like to remarry for a second or even third time. As long as a person's prior marriage is legally ended before their subsequent union is forged their marriage may be legal, though obligations that existed between a person and their former spouse may be altered due to the one's remarriage. One of those obligations that may be impacted by remarriage is alimony.

As previously discussed on this blog, alimony, also called spousal support, is the payment of financial support from one formerly married person to their ex. Alimony can endure for various lengths of time and the amount and duration of an alimony award will be based on factors specific to the individual's marriage.

Child abduction by a parent is a serious legal issue

Child custody orders and agreements are rarely perfect. While in most cases Arizona families are able to work around the parameters of the custodial plans they are bound to follow, in some situations following a child custody arrangement can be downright frustrating. While parents should always seek legal assistance to find appropriate ways to either change or modify the terms of the agreements and orders that they must follow, some parents elect to take custodial matters into their own hands.

When a parent takes their child against the terms of an operating child custody order or agreement then their act may constitute child abduction. For example, if a parent was to return their child to the child's other parent but instead took the child overnight then their failure to act in accordance with their custody plan may arise to abduction or kidnapping.

Notices must be provided before child support enforcement occurs

A parent who has fallen behind on their child support obligation may be aware that they are failing to meet the terms of their child support agreement or order. While many Arizona parents are able to stay current on the sums that they owe to their children, others through either inability or unwillingness miss payments and leave themselves open to the enforcement efforts of the state. This post will discuss one very important step that must be taken before the state may begin enforcement remedies against financially delinquent parents: notice of delinquency.

Before the state of Arizona's Department of Economic Security may begin taking actions against a parent who has not paid their child support, the parent must first be notified of their missed payments. Notice is a critical component of the enforcement process as it gives parents a chance to become current on the amounts they are responsible for paying as well as time to file administrative reviews. An administrative review gives a parent a chance to have their child support matter looked over if they believe that they have been contacted for child support enforcement in error.

How can a man challenge the paternity of a child?

It is often the case that when an Arizona man learns that he will be a father that he embraces his new role and the prospects of being involved in his child's life. Becoming a parent is a huge step and while not every person who finds out that they are expecting a child is prepared for the news, most rise to the occasion to provide their children with opportunities and love.

However, on occasion, a man may be told that he will be a father, and he may be doubtful of such news. Being named the father of a child can be financially and legally significant, and if the man is confident that he is not the child's father, then he may wish to fight the claims to avoid becoming the victim of paternity fraud. This post will touch on some of the ways that paternity challenges may occur, and readers who wish to pursue these and other efforts, should consult with attorneys who advocate for fathers' rights.

Finding financial health after a divorce

It should be no surprise to readers of this Arizona family law blog that ending a marriage and dividing a single home into two households can be expensive. A couple that shares a mortgage may find itself paying that mortgage and rent for one of the partners to live in a residence other than the marital home; to support that second address the individuals both must pay utilities, buy household goods and attend to many of the other costs that are needed for a person to live on their own.

While creating a sound property settlement pursuant to a divorce is an important part of protecting a person's post-marriage financial health there are many other ways that people can help themselves land on their feet in the wakes of their divorces. For example, divorced parties should cancel any credit cards that they share with their exes as they can become liable for the costs their ex-partners incur as joint holders of the accounts.

Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC is one of the East Valley's premiere litigation law firms.

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