Spousal Maintenance Laws in Seattle and Washington State

Spousal Maintenance Laws in Seattle and Washington State

Seattle child custody lawyers represent parties in cases involving spousal maintenance or "alimony". Spousal maintenance is where one party pays to the other, usually monthly, money after separation for living expenses. Spousal maintenance may be litigated at a temporary orders hearing or ordered in the final divorce decree or both. The issue of spousal maintenance does not concern misconduct, and it must be reasonable and fair as to amount paid and duration. At McKinley Irvin our Seattle child custody lawyers have literally hundreds of cases experience in alimony and maintenance cases.

Washington State family law requires the use of mandatory forms by Seattle child custody lawyers which are available from the State of Washington at the following link: Seattle child custody lawyer

Consulting with a Seattle Child Custody Lawyer about Maintenance

The court, and therefore your Seattle child custody lawyer, will weigh several factors in determining whether an award of spousal support is warranted. Although the analysis can be somewhat complex, the central questions are, does the requesting party have a need for spousal maintenance, and does the proposed paying spouse have the ability to pay? Other factors that your Seattle child custody lawyer can explain are:

-The standard of living the parties adopted during the marriage;

-The length of the marriage;

-The age, physical and emotional health, and financial circumstances of the spouse seeking maintenance; and,

-The time necessary for the spouse receiving maintenance to acquire sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable sustainable employment.

The analysis is complicated, and takes Seattle child custody lawyers years to master an understanding of its application.

Spousal maintenance is normally ordered long enough to get the receiving spouse sufficient, anywhere from a few months to a few years. In rare cases, the court will order long term or even lifetime spousal maintenance when the above factors warrant it.

Another issue for your Seattle child custody lawyer: the Department of Child Support will help collect unpaid but court ordered spousal support if necessary.

For specific statutory language concerning maintenance please refer to RCW 26.09.090: Maintenance orders for either spouse - Factors.