When going through a divorce in Bellevue, Wash., one thing that you may have to consider is filing for spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, or paying it. If you think that spousal support will affect your divorce, here is what you need to know about how to file for spousal support.
Court Order Maintenance During Divorce Proceedings
During the process of filing for a divorce, you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse has the right to request spousal maintenance, or alimony, in Washington. Alimony payments typically are made to a financially dependent spouse and are calculated using a number of factors, such as income, length of the marriage, education level, skill set and living habits.
For those who have started the divorce proceedings but need alimony to be paid immediately, i.e., before alimony has been officially ordered by the court during the legal separation proceedings, a temporary order to pay maintenance can be filed. The form for temporary spousal maintenance benefits, as well as the form for the final declaration of benefits, can be found on the Washington Courts’ website.
Preparing for Your Divorce Hearing
When two people getting divorced cannot come to a divorce agreement regarding things like alimony, child support or division of property, the divorce may go to court. If the divorce goes to court, then a judge will make all decisions regarding the divorce.
The first thing that you need to do is to file your divorce case with the courts. If you have hired a divorce attorney, she typically will do this for you. If the reason for your divorce going to court is a dispute over alimony, then you should start to gather evidence as to why you are owed a certain amount of alimony or why you should not have to pay a certain amount of alimony.
Evidence that you will need to make your case include your income level, your current expenses and cost of living, your current job and job history, and any reasons the judge should agree with your position. In order to prepare your case properly, you may have to visit your accountant’s office, gather tax forms, collect property documents and more.
Washington Revised Code 26.09.090 states that judges have to write alimony orders without considering any marital misconduct. This means that things such as extramarital affairs will not be considered when making a decision about alimony.
On the day of your court date, make sure that you act as professionally as possible while in the courtroom. Answer questions honestly and politely and calmly provide any testimony. The hearing process is very straightforward, especially if you have an attorney on your side.
Can I Change My Alimony Agreement Later?
If a judge orders you to pay alimony, you may be able to change or terminate payments at a later date. Typically, though, alimony payments will not be changed unless both parties agree to the changes or circumstances change dramatically.
How a Lawyer in Bellevue Helps
Determining alimony and attending a divorce hearing where alimony is being considered is a common part of a divorce case. Make sure you have an attorney on your side to represent your best interests and exercise your rights. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny in Bellevue can help. Our attorneys can help you come to an alimony agreement before your divorce even goes to court, and if a court hearing is necessary, we will advocate for your rights and help you prepare a winning case.
To speak with one of our family law and divorce attorneys today, call us now at 425-460-0550.