When is spousal maintenance (alimony) ordered?

When spousal maintenance is requested the judge will considers factors such as the length of the marriage, the age and earning ability of the spouse who is asking for spousal maintenance, the standard of living that was enjoyed during the parties' marriage, the ability of the other spouse to pay spousal maintenance, and what the person who is asking for the maintenance contributed to the marriage.

The amount of the payments is determined by what the judge considers to be a reasonable deduction from the monthly income of the paying spouse and a reasonable monthly payment to the receiving spouse. Spousal maintenance is not required in Arizona and not every divorce case involves spousal maintenance. 

Spousal maintenance payments are ordered to be made through an Income Withholding Order also known as a Wage Assignment from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court's order directs the employer of the spouse to deduct the amount of spousal maintenance directly from the paycheck, and then the employer sends this money to the Clerk of the Superior Court. The Clerk records the payment and sends the money to the spouse who is entitled to receive the spousal maintenance payment. In cases where the spouses is self-employed or unemployed, spouses must make spousal maintenance payments directly to the Clerk of the Court.