Spousal Support: A Complicated Gray Area In Divorce Cases
Spousal support (also known as alimony or spousal maintenance) can be a complicated issue in divorce cases. Because it’s rarely black and white, there is often much room for debate on whether spousal support is appropriate – and if so, how much and for how long. It can be a major bargaining chip in settlement discussions as well.
At Northwest Family Law, P.S., our attorney can help you address the spousal support issue in a way that makes sense for your situation and goals. Our family law attorney is a skilled problem-solver who brings a refreshing, forward-thinking outlook to every case.
When Is Spousal Support Awarded?
Washington doesn’t have a formula for awarding spousal maintenance in divorce cases. However, courts look at various factors in making alimony determinations, including:
- How long you were married
- The standard of living you and your spouse established during the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and earning capacity
- The income disparity between the parties
- Whether either party has a medical condition or special needs
- Whether any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement limits or precludes spousal support
The length of the marriage is often the key factor in determining how long alimony will last. A temporary order of spousal support may be appropriate while the divorce case is pending.
Modification Of Spousal Support Orders
Generally speaking, spousal support automatically ends upon the death or remarriage of the recipient. Other major life changes may warrant a modification of the existing order. Those changes might include a job loss, diminished earnings or a new medical condition or disability. Note that divorce agreements sometimes specify that spousal support is not subject to modification.
Talk With Our Lawyer About Your Divorce Case
Divorce is a huge part of what we do at Northwest Family Law, P.S. Our founding attorney understands the many intricacies of spousal support. And as a local lawyer in the Bellevue area, she is familiar with how individual judges approach the issue.