Alimony or “spousal maintenance” is never a given in divorce; there are a lot of factors that the courts will assess when making an alimony determination.

If you are contemplating divorce, or are in the midst of one, and are concerned about how you’ll make ends meet, it’s in your best interest to talk to a family law attorney for help planning how to meet your financial needs. Your attorney can help validate your need for alimony to the judge and negotiate with your spouse’s attorney for a fair agreement for spousal support.

What Factors Determine If I Will Get Alimony?

Unlike child support, there is a so set formula for determining alimony amounts, nor is there one simple answer to whether or not the courts will award one spouse maintenance. “Maintenance is based on financial and economic factors, not whether one of the spouses is at fault. Instead, if there is a big economic difference between the spouses, maintenance may be ordered to help achieve financial independence,” explains the Washington Courts.

There are several factors a judge can consider when hearing a request for alimony, such as the following:

  • Age, health, and earning capacity of both parties: If one party is disabled or has a serious health condition, alimony may be necessary
  • Duration of the marriage: Spouses who’ve been married a short duration usually can’t justify alimony
  • Each party’s prospective financial future: The judge will consider how long each party has been in the workforce and built their careers, what their education and training levels are, etc.
  • Paying spouse’s ability to pay alimony: Each spouse will have to submit a financial affidavit to give the judge a clear picture of all of their finances.
  • Amount of property and assets each party will have after the divorce
  • How long it will take the recipient spouse to gain education or training to become self-sufficient: If you need to start from scratch, the judge may award you alimony for the duration of your schooling, plus a couple of years afterward while you obtain a job
  • The lifestyle the couples had during the marriage: Did you live in a house in a safe neighborhood, own your own vehicle, etc.? The judge will try to award support in a way that narrows the gap between each spouse’s economic standing

Obtaining the Support You Need ASAP

You do not have to wait until after the divorce is final to get a court order for maintenance. It can be exceptionally hard to get your place, take care of your kids, and try to make ends meet when you’ve got little to no income and have yet to build a career. The court understands that support is sometimes a crucial, pressing issue that can’t wait.

Our Bellevue Attorneys Can Help You Seek Alimony

For help securing temporary and future spousal support you need so that you can get back on your feet and walk more confidently toward the future, contact family law attorney Molly B. Kenny today at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington