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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39171
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I was divorced in AZ and my ex-spouse was awarded child

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I was divorced in AZ and my ex-spouse was awarded child support and lifetime spousal support. I am current on all obligations at this time. My remaining minor child becomes emancipated by turning 18 and graduating High School later this year. I own a business that I plan to sell next year. My question is this: what is the best way for me to avoid paying my ex-spouse any more alimony and keep the proceeds of the sale of my business from becoming used as alimony?

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Does the lifetime spousal support award specify a specific amount? I assume that it was in relation to maintaining a "quality of life" for your ex-spouse?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
it is an amount that is "modifiable" and has intervals or tiers that it is reduced to over time. I am almost at the lowest tier, which is still over $2500/mo.

In what instances is it modifiable?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
In the event of a "significant and on-going change" to my income, which my divorce lawyer told me includes income reported to the IRS on schedules W-2, W-1099, and K-1. My attorney postulated that the absence of income would negate the obligation for support, but I'm not so sure I believe that.

I wouldn't believe it either. Maybe the absence of income AND the absence of any assets. How much are you looking at selling your business for? That is, are we talking >$10m, $1m-10m, or <$1m?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I am the majority shareholder. My gross proceeds from a sale will likely be between $4-5M

I see. Are you currently married (remarried, of course)?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Absolutely not remarried. My DV attorney also indicated that any qualified retirement plans, ie:, 401-k, Roth, SIMPLE, etc., and/or Social Security are exempt from being attached for purposes of spousal maintenance. Again, I'm not sure if that's correct.

Thank you. I really hate to do this, but I will have to opt out of this question. The reason is that there are just too many variables. I personally think that you need a good asset protection attorney in your area that can review your judgment, any settlements, etc... so as best to give you a good strategy moving forward.

That being said, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with asset protection cases. Go to or to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok, thank you.


Different contributor here. Please permit me to assist.

If child support is no longer collectible, it becomes extremely difficult to collect spousal maintenance across state lines! The reason is that a contempt motion is effectively unenforceable interstate, due to the fact that the court cannot enforce "interstate rendition" (e.g., extradition) for a contempt citation. Which means that the AZ court couldn't get law enforcement in any other state to forcibly return you to AZ to face contempt charges. And, a contempt order can't be enforced in a different jurisdiction. This leaves only ordinary collection actions, i.e., a money judgment as a means of satisfying a support obligation -- which creates additional problems, because the cost of collection can be quite high, and the difficulty in finding assets equally costly -- especially, if you were to relocate to a different state (or nation) and not inform your ex as to your new residence.

However, if you choose to remain in the same state jurisdiction as your spouse, then you are not going to be able to avoid paying spousal maintenance -- because, if you don't pay, the court will order you incarcerated until you change your mind.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I give this answer a rating of 3

Feel free to ask a follow up question if you need additional information -- and I'll be happy to provide further assistance.

Thanks for using Justanswer!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39171
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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