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When will a court require a maintenance order during a divorce?

Going through a divorce means more than ending a personal relationship and coping with the emotional fallout of terminating a legal marriage. It also means dividing up property, settling debts and deciding how each former partner will support each other, if at all, when they return to their single lives. In Washington, courts can require certain divorcing parties to pay their exes maintenance if certain conditions exist.

When deciding if maintenance should be included in a divorce decree, a court will look at a number of factors related to the circumstances of the involved parties. It is important that readers recognize that different divorces will result from different sets of circumstance and may not all have the same outcomes. Independent legal advice should be pursued by those who have divorce and maintenance questions.

One of the most significant factors that a court will assess when considering the place of maintenance in a divorce is ability of the requesting party to financially support themselves once their marriage is over. A person with significant personal assets and income may not require maintenance to live, but a person who has provided home support and no financial income may not have the means to care for their own expenses.

Additionally, courts can consider how long the parties were married, the standard at which they lived during their marriage, the duration of time that the requesting party would need support and other factors relevant to their own independent divorce. Maintenance can be a way for a financially-dependent individual to remain solvent after a divorce and may help them get on their feet as they exit their legal marriage.

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