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Spokane Alimony Attorney

Understanding Spousal Support in Washington State

Gavel and money representing alimony laws in Washington

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) 571-2277 or contact us online for a consultation.

Community Property

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.

Washington State Alimony Laws

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

Length of marriage is an important factor in awarding alimony payments and its duration. Permanent spousal support is often awarded to spouses in long-term marriages (25+ years). For marriages shorter than 25 years, Washington courts often use a one-to-three ratio, which means one year of alimony for every three years of marriage.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Washington State?

In Washington State, spousal support, or alimony, usually lasts several years or the rest of the receiving spouse's life. Generally, alimony will terminate according to the date established when the court awarded alimony. In specific circumstances, spousal support may end before that date.

When awarding alimony, Washington law requires courts to consider the requesting spouse's need for maintenance and the other spouse's ability to pay. Maintenance should be at most the recipient's needs and within the payor's ability to pay.

It is best to seek advice from an alimony attorney in Spokane to learn how the law is likely to apply in your circumstances.

Our Washington State alimony attorneys are dedicated to helping clients through the divorce, custody, and child support process.

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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