Can I Request Lifetime Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is also called spousal support, or alimony. Spousal maintenance is money provided from one spouse to another during, or following, a divorce. There are some guidelines in place for determination of spousal maintenance. Unlike child support, there is no formula to calculate spousal maintenance. The judge will review a request for spousal support, and make a decision. Some people wonder, can I request lifetime spousal maintenance?.

Factors Used to Determine Spousal Support

There are a number of factors that are used in the consideration of support. Some of these factors include:

  • Length of the Marriage
  • Employment and Income of Each Spouse
  • Education and Ability to Work
  • Age and Health of the Spouses
  • Ability to Pay for Expenses

The judge will evaluate each case based on the specific factors involved. Generally, if a spouse is capable of working, the judge expects that person to find at least some form of work.

Temporary Spousal Support is The Most Common Type

The most common type of spousal maintenance is temporary support. This type of support is ordered for a defined period of time. It is often used to provide assistance to one spouse while they prepare to rejoin the workforce. It may also be used to provide living expenses during the divorce proceedings.

Permanent Spousal Support May Be Possible

Permanent spousal support in Arizona is generally called spousal maintenance of “indefinite duration.”  In other words, the Court will not include an end or termination date in its spousal maintenance order.  However, support may still end sometime in the future if there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances that warrants a change or termination.  Indefinite duration support is most often ordered in cases where the spouses were married for a long time, and where one of them never worked. It may also be ordered in situations where one person has a disability or is unable to work.

When Does Spousal Support End?

Spousal maintenance orders provide specific details as to when the support ends. Temporary support may be provided for a specific period of time, or until a certain date. Indefinite duration maintenance often ends only when one spouse dies, or if the spouse receiving maintenance remarries. Modifications to maintenance can be difficult to obtain, so it is best to ensure that you get the support you need as part of your divorce order. If you are going through a divorce, you may require spousal maintenance to help pay for your living expenses. Call the legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation today.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Lifetime Spousal Maintenance, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.