Several factors go into an Arizona court’s decision on spousal maintenance. This is one of the most important parts of the proceedings from the long-term financial effects it will have on both parties. One of these factors is how old the spouse seeking maintenance is.
Since Arizona is a community property state, many would believe that older divorcees would have less of a chance of receiving alimony since any property or income they acquired during the marriage would be evenly split. However, there are many issues that older spouses have later in their lives that could have a drastic impact on the court’s decision.
A low-paying job or no job at all
Arizona spouses may split the amount of money both earned for the duration of their marriage, but the court considers how well both will adjust to their single lives. One spouse may have been too reliant on the other’s earnings or was unable to get a job that gets a sufficient amount of income.
This tends to happen to older divorced parents as one focuses more on raising the child while the other goes to work to provide for their family. Once the child is at an age where they can start taking care of themselves, the parent may find it difficult to get a job on their own having spent so much time with their kid. Most hiring companies are looking for younger individuals, so getting to an earning level close to the other parent won’t be easy.
Health issues and retirement
Older spouses can also have a large amount of medical issues that can’t be afforded by a minimum wage paycheck. Their jobs may offer employee health insurance, but it might not be enough for the various physical struggles they may deal with in the near future. The court takes into consideration what preexisting medical problems the less earning spouse has and how old they are to see when and how much they will likely need.
Retirement also tends to be a controversial issue depending on how the plan was prior to the divorce. They will only get half of what they built up during the marriage in Arizona, so the higher earning spouse will have a significant advantage if they had their job beforehand. Even though retirement is frequently a point where the higher earning spouse will request for a change in alimony payments, they still may have to pay prior to that to help with their ex’s retirement plan.
Whether you are the one who might have to pay spousal maintenance or you are the one who needs it, make sure you have an experienced family law attorney at your side to try and get the best possible outcome.