When folks in Spokane are asked to name some contentious issues that can crop up in a divorce proceeding, alimony will likely be among the first things mentioned. Courts in Washington have quite a bit of discretion when ordering maintenance, as alimony is legally known as in the Evergreen State. This blog post will provide some basic information on the factors that Washington family law courts use when determining whether to award maintenance and how much to award.
Courts are allowed to consider all relevant factors when making the determination of whether to award alimony and how much should be awarded. The maintenance statute specifically mentions some factors that courts are allowed to consider. Courts are allowed to consider the financial resources available to the spouse requesting maintenance. These resources can include the community and separate property apportioned to the spouse after the divorce or separation is complete. The court can also take into consideration the spouse's ability to meet their financial needs independently and also the amount of any child support awarded.
Courts can also take into consideration the time the requesting spouse may need to acquire sufficient education or training appropriate for the spouse's circumstances. Other factors that are specifically mentioned include the standard of living established during the marriage or relationship; the duration of the marriage or relationship; the age, financial obligations and physical and emotional condition of the spouse requesting maintenance; and the ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance while also meeting their own expenses.
Some spouses ask for maintenance, while others are asked to pay it. The maintenance aspect of a divorce or separation can have major implications for each spouse.