With the rise in two-income households, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is not as common as it once was. But because it may be a factor in a divorce, it’s important to understand what spousal maintenance is and how it works in Arizona. If you don’t, you might end up paying too much or receiving too little. Be sure to consult with a Chandler spousal maintenance lawyer who can review your situation, guide you through the legal complexities, and help you get what you deserve.
The purpose of spousal maintenance or alimony
Spousal maintenance is perhaps the least understood aspect of divorce. If you listen to cocktail-party talk, you may hear that it is always awarded and that it is the bane of existence for the payor and a coveted prize for the payee. The reality is much less dramatic or black-and-white.
Spousal maintenance is a temporary equalizer to help ease the transition when one spouse has focused most, if not all, of his or her effort on making a living to provide for the family’s financial needs (usually, but not always, the husband) while the other spouse has maintained the household and taken care of any children (usually, but not always, the wife). The stay-at-home spouse doesn’t get a paycheck but supports the working spouse in the advancement of his or her career. This spouse fills the traditional homemaker role, which might include cooking, cleaning, maintaining the house and yard, driving the family taxi, shopping, running errands, paying the bills, and similar tasks.