Spousal Support

As part of a final divorce decree, one spouse can become legally responsible for providing some amount of financial support to the other for varying lengths of time. This is known as spousal support or spousal maintenance. Each case is determined based upon the individual financial abilities of the parties involved, as well as the duration of the marriage, and the various contributions made to the marriage. When one spouse stayed home to raise children while the other parent provided financial support, it is likely that spousal support will be awarded. In some cases the support will be provided until the individual has the opportunity to get training, find a job or finish their education in a profession that will allow them to become self-supporting.

Calculating Spousal Support

It will first need to be established if a spouse is eligible for support. After that, to determine the exact amount and duration of spousal support or maintenance, the court must take into consideration a number of different factors on both sides relating to income and expenses, property awarded to each party, length of marriage, disabilities if any exist, and more. Shorter marriages may not even have support considered as an option. Whether you are the party seeking maintenance or possibly having to pay, taking legal action is important. Some courts have more of a set standard that is used when deciding terms of spousal support, but in the state of Washington the decision is often left up to the court.

A Court Order can Still be Modified

Spousal support can play a pivotal role in helping the financially disadvantaged spouse to avoid the potential financial consequences of a divorce. Financial strategizing and skillful negotiating is invaluable when it comes to establishing spousal support as it can have a lasting impact on your financial security for years after your divorce is finalized. It can also be a burden for those that are ordered by the court to pay maintenance and whether it is short or long term, it can create less financial security from the income they have worked for. Changes later on in life may be good reason for an alteration to be sought to the terms of support. Modification can be pursued from both those receiving support if they believe they should be awarded more, or from the spouse that is paying support, if issues such as a job loss require them to pay less.

At Blair & Kim, PLLC, we understand how critically important the issue of spousal support is when you are considering divorce. We will explain the Washington State law, evaluate and advise you on what can be expected in your case, and will zealously protect your right to the support you deserve or minimize your obligation when appropriate. At Blair & Kim, PLLC, our primary concern is protecting your rights and your financial security.