In Boyle v. Boyle, the wife was awarded spousal maintenance of $3,000 per month for all future months that the husband continued to work, to change to $50 per month after the husband retired. The wife also received an equitable portion of the community assets which included homes, vehicles, realty, life insurance policies, and Merrill Lynch Investment accounts from which the wife received $700,000 alone. In addition to the division of property, the trial court found that the wife was statutorily entitled to spousal maintenance, under Arizona Revised Statute § 25-319, by meeting some of the specific statutory factors, including that she was unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment and that the marriage was of a long duration. After 35 years of marriage, the wife was age 65 and with serious medical problems.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, holding the following: (1) A spouse need not first show that they are unable to be self-sufficient or lack sufficient property to be eligible for spousal maintenance. Here, it was enough that the wife wouldn’t be able to find a job and was in bad health). (2) Fifty dollars was not a nominal awardfor the improper purpose of retaining jurisdiction and, without any conflicting evidence, it is inferred that the trial court made the additional findings necessary to support the judgment.
Leonard Karp & Katherine Scott are family law attorney and an associate, respectively, with Karp & Weiss, a Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rated law firm, the highest possible rating.