How do you determine if you are entitled to receive spousal support?

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How do you determine if you are entitled to receive spousal support?

We’ been married about 6 years. I was making $80,000, had $40,000 IRA. Nice car (leased), made her car payments (now sold), paid half rent, and cell phone bill of bill $9180. Became disabled 3 years ago, I have no more car, IRA, spent everything I had. I had to declare bankruptcy and my condo was foreclosed on. She won’t kick me out because she needs my portion of money to help pay expenses (I have some minimum disability income). We don’t fight at all. She owns the house and there is equity. She works 2 jobs and makes about $32.000. I receive $24,000 but spent it all. Can I collect?  I have a pending medical lawsuit which I willingly will split it ends.

Asked on April 28, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Here is what I have found with regard to spousal support and the factors the courts will take in to account should you not agree on the issue.

"The criteria that the Arizona court considers are set forth in A.R.S. § 25-319(A), which states that the Court may award spousal maintenance for any of the following reasons if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:

1. Lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for that spouse's reasonable needs.

2. Is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home or lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to be self-sufficient.

3. Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.

4. Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.

If the Court finds that a spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance, then the factors set forth in A.R.S. § 25-319(B) will be considered to determine how much support should be paid, and for how long.  These factors include:

1. The standard of living established during the marriage.

2. The duration of the marriage.

3. The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.

4. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse's needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.

6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.

7. The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.

8. The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.

9. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse's ability to meet that spouse's own needs independently.

10. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.

11. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

12. The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved."

Good luck.



IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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