Under Arizona’s community property laws, income earned by both you and your spouse that contributes toward your household is part of your marital property. During the divorce process, a family court judge generally divides all property equally in half. How much spousal maintenance or financial support you may request could depend on your own income after the marriage dissolves.
If both spouses worked during the marriage and contributed an equal amount of income to the household, an ex-spouse’s financial circumstances may not change too drastically. While it may require a new budget that fits within a post-divorce personal income, the new circumstances may not indicate a need for a large amount of alimony or support from your ex-spouse.
In cases where one spouse worked full time and the other spouse stayed home without working, however, spousal maintenance might make a significant difference. This may hold especially true for couples over the age of 50 who are going through a “gray” divorce. Not everyone can start a new job or begin a new career as a 50+ ex-spouse, and the quality of life after a divorce could change from how a couple lived during their marriage.
According to a study published in the Los Angeles Times, couples going through a gray divorce should expect to see their wealth diminish by approximately 50%. Women may experience a 45% reduction in their standard of living. Men, however, may experience only a 21% reduction in their living standard.
To avoid devastating financial circumstances, you may wish to consider requesting an amount of support that helps maintain the quality of life you became accustomed to or at least comes close to it. Planning ahead may help prevent what might develop into a painful financial surprise.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.