Alimony (spousal support or maintenance) refers to financial support payments one spouse makes to the other, either during or after a divorce. When married couples split, there are several types of alimony courts can award, including:

  • temporary alimony – paid only while the divorce is pending
  • short-term maintenance – for short-term marriages (a few years)
  • rehabilitative support – which is paid until the supported spouse can find a way to become self-sufficient

All these types of spousal support have an end date, summarized in the couple’s marital settlement agreement or the finalized divorce judgment. Courts can also grant long-term alimony, something that is reserved for long-term marriages. This occurs when the supported spouse does not have time to support themselves. Permanent support can continue until someone dies.

In Arizona, the obligation to pay future alimony is terminated when the supported spouse remarries, but the paying spouse must file a petition or motion to end support. It does not apply to cohabitation. The paying spouse must file a motion to modify support, show a substantial and continuing change in circumstances, provide evidence relating to cohabitation’s economic nature, and prove that ex-spouse’s support needs have changed.

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