How Does Working Affect Alimony in Washington State?

When a couple pursues a divorce, a court may order the financially independent spouse to pay alimony—also known as spousal support or a spousal maintenance order—to the financially dependent spouse. The amount that a court orders to be paid is dependent upon a number of factors, including the work status of both parties. If you’re working at the time of a divorce, here’s how working will affect alimony.

Factors that Determine Alimony Amount

The factors that determine a spousal maintenance amount, as named by RCW 26.09.090, include the following listed below.

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance
  • The time required for the party seeking maintenance to find employment
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the party seeking maintenance
  • The ability of the party from whom support is being sought to meet financial obligations of both parties

Based on the above, it is easy to see how being employed during a divorce could affect a spousal support payment. If working and making enough income to support oneself and maintain a standard of living established during the marriage, an alimony award may be significantly reduced, or even withheld entirely.

How to Get Alimony if You’re Working

While your chances of getting an alimony order may be reduced if you are working, it is not impossible to have a court order for your ex-spouse to pay alimony. This is especially true if your current paycheck from work does not allow you to maintain a similar standard of living to that established by your marriage or domestic partnership.

If your financial obligations exceed your income then requesting that your ex pay alimony despite your job is also an option. You may also be eligible for an alimony payment if you are currently working but plan to retire soon, only work part time, or have another circumstance that threatens your financial survival after divorce.

Improve Your Chances of Getting Alimony

You can improve your chances of being granted an alimony order by hiring a divorce attorney who can negotiate a divorce settlement on your behalf. At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our legal team can work to demonstrate to a court that you’re in need of a spousal maintenance payment to meet your financial obligations and standard of living.

To start working toward getting your spousal maintenance award today – regardless of whether or not you’re currently employed – contact our offices at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny