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Circumstances that may lead to an award of alimony

Not every divorce that occurs in the courts of Arizona will end with an award of alimony to one of the parties. In fact, in many cases the parties to a divorce may emerge from the legal process with their careers intact and sufficient assets on which to support themselves. It is only when one of the parties may be disadvantaged and unable to provide for their own needs that an award of alimony will be made.

Pursuant to Arizona law there are four situations in which an award of alimony may be appropriate. First, an award of alimony may be made if the party requesting the support does not have enough property or sufficient assets to manage their own financial needs. Their former spouse may be required to provide them with additional support so that they may maintain their reasonable living requirements.

Second, alimony may be awarded if the requesting spouse is not able to enter the workforce to earn a sufficient income on which to live. Whether through their own condition, their need to stay home and care for a child, or their inability to qualify for employment that would enable them to be self-sufficient, an impediment to employment may allow them to collect alimony.

Third, a party who helped put their former spouse through school or to obtain a higher education may be entitled to alimony. Fourth, parties who were in long-term marriages and who may have reached an advanced age that would limit their employment options can often petition their divorce courts for alimony.

These are common situations that result in alimony awards. However, it is critical that individuals discuss their alimony needs with their divorce attorneys. Many factors are considered when a court reviews a request for support and no two cases may resolve in the same manner.

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