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Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is tricky. Anyone who tells you that they can determine how much maintenance you’re entitled to, or for how long, is a liar–unless he or she is the judge rendering their verdict following your trial!

Arizona revised statutes Chapter 25–319 is the statute which governs spousal maintenance. It’s first section , section A, has four subparagraphs to be considered by the court when determining whether an award of spousal maintenance is appropriate.

Once the court determines that a spouse is, in fact, entitled to maintenance, the court proceeds to part B of that statute, to consider the 13 parameters set forth there in arriving at the appropriate monthly figure and duration.

While there is a “predictor” formula that is been used for years to assist attorneys in settling this issue on behalf of their clients, it is advisory only, not admissible in court, and frowned on in some circles. This formula emphasizes the duration of the marriage and the disparity of the monthly gross incomes of the parties.

Simply put, all else equal, the greater the duration of your marriage and the greater the discrepancy in your monthly incomes, the more likely there will be an award of spousal maintenance and the longer it will last.

The subtleties involved in arriving at this figure are beyond the scope of this article and, possibly, even beyond the scope of understanding by anyone not wearing a black robe! Be certain to discuss this issue with your attorney in depth in order to increase, as much as possible, your understanding of the issue.

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