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Spokane Alimony Attorney

Understanding Spousal Support in Washington State

Washington State has specific laws and procedures regarding property division and alimony. Alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance are all terms used to describe monetary payments awarded to one spouse by the court after the marital property is divided. Get the help of a skilled Spokane alimony lawyer by calling the Law Office of Benjamin D. Platt.

Do you have questions about alimony? Call (509) 571-2277or contact us online for a consultation.

How Alimony Awards Are Determined

Washington is a community property state, which means each spouse is awarded half of the marital property. Marital assets are those acquired during the marriage. Property that is owned before the marriage, inherited, received as a gift, or purchased during the marriage with other separate property is separate property and is not divided by the court. This can cause the financial circumstances of the spouses to become uneven.

When setting an alimony award, Washington courts consider factors such as:

  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The ability of the paying spouse to pay alimony
  • The time one spouse may need for training or education to become self-sufficient

The length of the marriage is an important factor in awarding alimony and the duration of alimony payments. Permanent spousal support is often awarded to spouses in long-term marriages, usually those lasting 25 years or more. For marriages shorter than 25 years, Washington courts tend to use a one-to-three ratio, meaning that a spouse is awarded one year of alimony for every three years of marriage.

When Alimony Stops

Generally, alimony will terminate according to the date established when the court awarded alimony. In specific circumstances, alimony may end prior to that date. For example, if the paying spouse dies or the receiving spouse remarries or dies, alimony payments would cease. It is best to seek advice from an alimony attorney in Spokane to learn how the law is likely to apply in your circumstances.

Please call our family law firm at (509) 571-2277 for a free 30-minute consultation to learn how Washington alimony law applies to your situation.

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