Overview of Spousal Maintenance and Other Financial Repercussions of Divorce

Divorce is a major life event, just like marriage, the birth of your child, or the death of a loved one. It can stir up so many emotions and cause so much stress, but having the right attorney there by your side can make all the difference. One thing a competent attorney can do is to fight for a fair amount of spousal support payments for you; in Arizona, spousal support is officially termed “spousal maintenance.” 

Overall, a divorce will drastically change your financial situation. This blog will explore some of these financial repercussions so you know what to expect before you file for divorce.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Sometimes called “alimony,” spousal maintenance is simply regular monetary support paid from one ex-spouse to the other. It can be paid in one lump sum, but periodic payments (usually monthly) are more typical. Spousal maintenance can be paid while the divorce is pending, for a finite length of time after the divorce is finalized, or on a permanent basis (this type is rare in Arizona). Often, one ex-spouse will temporarily receive spousal maintenance payments until he or she finds a job or otherwise finds a way to improve their financial situation and standard-of-living.

When deciding on an appropriate amount of spousal maintenance, the court looks at many factors. Some of the items a court will look at include the nature of property distribution between spouses, contributions of one spouse towards the other’s work training or education during the marriage, the forfeiture of a career or significant income to care for the marital household, and other elements.  The primary factor though is typically based on need.

What Can You Expect Financially After Divorce?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of divorcees see their financial situations decline once their split is finalized. In addition to transitioning to a single-income household, ex-spouses will lose health insurance coverage if they were previously covered through their spouse. Even with spousal maintenance and child support, single mothers often struggle financially, at least in the immediate aftermath of their divorce. 

Men typically do not see their financial situation decline as sharply as women post-divorce. Those who were responsible for more than 80 percent of their household income during their marriage are usually financially secure, while those who contributed less than 80 percent will likely struggle. 


When you’re going through a divorce, you need a lawyer who will zealously fight for your interests. Monahan Law Firm is well-equipped to represent you throughout your divorce and any other family law matter. Call us today at 623-385-3190 to see how we can help.

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