If One Spouse Supported the Other While S/He Pursued Education, Will it Affect Alimony?

It is not uncommon for one spouse in a marriage to provide financial or emotional support while the other spouse pursues education. If the same couple decides to pursue a divorce later on in the marriage, though, the court, when determining an alimony payment, may consider the role of the supporting spouse when deciding alimony. The person who sacrificed so that his or her spouse could further her/his education needs to financially survive after divorce.

Washington State Law and Spousal Maintenance

RCW 26.09.090 Maintenance Orders for Either Spouse or Either Domestic Partners – Factors, reads that factors that the court may consider when making a decision about spousal maintenance include the following listed below.

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance
  • The time necessary for the party seeking maintenance to acquire education, skills, or training
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage or domestic partnership
  • The age and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is being sought to meet both parties’ financial needs

Learn More About How Spousal Support is Determined +

Other Factors the Court May Consider

The law does not specifically address how a maintenance award can be affected by the fact that one spouse support the other one while pursuing education. However, it does speak to the fact that the supporting spouse may now require education or training him/herself. What’s more, the law also reads that the factors named above may be considered, but that considerations are not limited to those factors alone. In other words, a court may consider any information necessary when making a determination about a spousal maintenance amount.

If you supported your spouse while they were pursuing their education, you have the right to financial compensation to pursue your path now. What’s more, the court may consider your support—either emotional or financial—to be a significant factor when deciding how much you should be awarded in alimony.

How a Spousal Maintenance Attorney Can Help You

Knowing how much you deserve in alimony can be tricky, and there are some things you’ll need to consider. At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our attorneys can help you to discover and negotiate for a fair spousal maintenance award.

If you supported your spouse while he or she was pursuing his/her education and you believe that you deserve a higher support award because of this, we want to represent you. To get in contact with us today and to schedule your first appointment, call us at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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