Alimony can be a long-term legal commitment that exists between two people who were formerly married. In Arizona, both men and women can be ordered to pay alimony to their exes, and those alimony payments can take on different forms and can last for different amounts of time. However, not every divorce results in an alimony award because not all marriages have one spouse who is financially dependent on their ex.
Alimony is only necessary when one party to a divorce will be unable to provide for themselves in the wake of their marital dissolution. A person who stopped working decades earlier to raise the parties' children may be ill-prepared to enter the workforce once their marriage is over, and it is in these types of situations that alimony may be appropriate. However, if both parties have careers and are financially capable of meeting their own post-divorce needs, alimony may not necessary.
When deciding if alimony is appropriate, courts will look at many case-specific factors. Whether the parties work or have the capacity to work are important considerations, as are the physical and mental conditions of the parties. Individuals who cannot work due to disabilities may require ongoing support from their exes to survive.
Not every divorce requires a court to establish a system of alimony between the parties. Individuals who are independently solvent may emerge from their marriage with no financial ties to their exes. Because alimony awards are case-specific, it is important that readers discuss their own options with their attorneys.