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There Is No Set Formula To Determine Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance varies greatly in Washington divorce cases. In fact, spousal maintenance, which is frequently referred to as alimony, is not guaranteed.

The purpose of spousal support is to help one party in a divorce maintain a certain level of lifestyle following divorce. Because divorce can take a year or more, courts often order temporary maintenance payments be paid while the process is completed. Following divorce, a court may order support be paid until the recipient can become completely self-sufficient.

Working With An Experienced Lawyer Is Vital

As with several other states in the U.S., spousal support in Washington has undergone significant changes in the past decade or more. It is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who will protect your interests, whether you expect to receive financial support or pay it. At Hansen Law, PLLC, we work closely with clients throughout the Yakima area to ensure they are treated fairly.

Factors That Impact Support

The parties in divorce are encouraged to reach an agreement regarding spousal support independent of the courts. If they are unable to, the court will consider a number of factors in determining whether support is warranted, how much support should be paid and for how long. These factors include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living set during the marriage
  • The age, as well as the physical and emotional condition of both parties
  • The financial resources of both parties
  • The requesting party’s ability to become self-supporting
  • How marital property was divided

If a spouse requesting support stayed out of the work force for a number of years to care for children, some education or job training may be required. Support payments may be ordered while this training is completed or in a lump sum to help cover costs of the training and living costs.

Terminating Or Modifying Spousal Support

Spousal support automatically terminates if a recipient remarries. Also, the amount of support may be modified if either party’s financial situation changes significantly. For example, a person who is paying support may request to have the payment reduced or eliminated if he or she becomes disabled or experiences long-term unemployment. Similarly, a recipient of spousal support may request additional support if he or she becomes disabled, or may receive less support if a new job comes with a significant pay raise.

Ready To Protect Your Interests

We understand the importance of getting support issues right the first time. We invite you to contact us online or call 509-388-0160 to meet with a lawyer who will always keep your best interests in mind. We will review your situation and provide a candid assessment of what you can expect regarding support and other issues.