How Can Alimony Be Terminated in Arizona?
If you’ve been paying alimony for a long time, you probably feel like it will never end. Divorce lawyers in Arizona hear their clients lament about this alll the time. For some people, that’s their reality. Arizona is one of the few states that still grant permanent alimony. It is rare. It is often only awarded when there is no way for the other spouse to ever support themself. Usually, unless the couple is much older, the spouse receiving alimony will one day work again. While they may never make as much as the spouse paying spousal maintenance, they will one day be self-sufficient.
Most alimony awards do not last forever. The property settlement agreement may state how long you’re to pay spousal maintenance. It will also list the terms under which alimony will be terminated. It’s important to remember that alimony won’t terminate on its own. You’ll have to file a motion with the court to make this happen. For example, if your property settlement agreement states that alimony ends when the other spouse remarries, it won’t end automatically upon marriage. Your divorce lawyer in Arizona will have to ask the court to terminate it.
While there’s no rule that says you need an attorney to handle this for, it’s a good idea. If your ex has an attorney, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage. So, it’s a good idea to call and talk to a divorce lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible.
Your Divorce Lawyer in Arizona Will Need to File a Motion to Terminate Alimony
Some people assume that alimony will automatically terminate when it’s supposed to. For example, consider a case in which the court orders you to pay alimony for five (5) years. After the five years, you expect the payments to stop coming out of your bank account. It doesn’t happen. You may get angry and frustrated. However, it is your responsibility to ask the court to terminate your spousal maintenance.
Your divorce lawyer in Arizona can file a simple motion asking the court to terminate alimony. If they grant your motion, alimony will be considered terminated in the month following the date of your court order. If you file your motion January 1, your hearing or motion date will likely be the first week of February. This means that, if you win, alimony will terminate effective March 1.
The same is true if there is no end date for alimony but something happens that should terminate support. For example, if your ex gets married, you’ll need to ask the court to terminate alimony. Unless and until you do this, you’ll continue to owe this obligation. If you just stop paying, your ex can file a motion with the court ordering you to pay.
What are the Most Common Reasons for the Termination of Spousal Maintenance?
If the court has ordered you to pay permanent alimony, there are really only three (3) reasons it can be terminated. If your ex passes away, alimony will be terminated. The same is true if they get remarried. The court will also consider terminating alimony if there is a significant change in circumstances. However, these cases are few and far between.
Talk to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Arizona First
Motions in family court can be confusing. There are a lot of legal requirements and filing fees. If you make a simple mistake, it can cost you months. This isn’t good if you’re asking to end your alimony obligation. Make sure you call an experienced divorce lawyer in Arizona right away. They can make sure your motion is filed properly right from the start.