Arizona No-Fault Divorce and Alimony (Spousal Maintenance)

Arizona No-Fault Divorce and Alimony (Spousal Maintenance)

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state.  What that means is, that when it comes to spousal maintenance, the court isn’t going to consider the fault of a party as the cause of the divorce. The court can’t consider gambling, alcohol, drugs, or other character flaws when deciding whether or not to award spousal maintenance and how much to award. This is distinct from collaborative divorce which often does not involve the court.

This wasn’t always the case in a divorce. In the old days, there was a requirement to prove some type of misbehavior or problem on behalf of one or both of the parties as grounds for divorce. When this fault was proven–the most common fault being adultery–then alimony (now called spousal maintenance) was either denied or automatically awarded depending upon which spouse had committed the offense. For example, if one spouse cheated and the other was the family breadwinner, the cheating spouse was denied alimony.

There’s an exception to Arizona’s no-fault rule. Arizona allows “covenant marriages.” A covenant marriage is the same as other marriages, except the spouses have taken special marriage counseling before the ceremony to strengthen their bond. Covenant marriages are entitled to fault-based divorces if one of the spouses has committed adultery.

Why was no-fault divorce adopted in Arizona and other states?


  • Reduced caseload in family courts
  • Divorce settlements are based on need, ability, and marital contribution to a family’s financial situation, rather than on fault.


  • In over 80% of no-fault divorces one party objects to the marriage ending, but no-fault laws take away that party’s decision to try and save the marriage


These are sobering facts and the bottom line is that you need representation to protect your interests during a divorce. Call us at Enholm Law: (602) 889-6273