If you’re going through a divorce in Seattle or Bellevue, you may have questions about alimony. To help you understand your rights and obligations regarding alimony following a divorce, refer to the following information and consult an alimony lawyer in Bellevue to exercise and protect your rights.

How is Alimony Defined in Washington?

When a couple gets a divorce, one partner may be required by law to issue payments to the other spouse to help to lessen financial hardship. This payment is what’s known as alimony and is typically paid to the spouse that is financially dependent on the other. For example, a stay-at-home parent may not have any individual income and relies on the spouse’s income for financial support. In the event of a divorce, the working spouse may be required to make payments to the non-working spouse. Alimony may be referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support.

Alimony is not child support, although both may be paid to a person following a divorce depending upon circumstances.

Learn More About the Types of Alimony in Washington State +

How are Alimony Amounts Decided in Washington?

As stated above, the financially independent spouse typically is responsible for making alimony payments to the financially dependent spouse. A number of factors, however, influence the amount of these payments. Work with an alimony lawyer in Bellevue to make sure the payments are calculated fairly.

How Alimony Amounts Are Decided in Washington with Alimony Lawyer Molly B. Kenny

While there’s no specific formula for determining an alimony amount, a court may consider the following factors.

  • Financial resources of both parties.

  • Whether or not the dependent spouse will acquire skills/education to become financially independent.

  • Standard of living.

  • Length of the marriage.

  • Health and age of both parties.

  • Financial obligations of both parties.

One thing that is not considered when determining spousal support payments is any marital misconduct. Otherwise, a court will consider all relevant factors. Factors considered are according to the Revised Code of Washington Section 26.09.090. 

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How are Alimony Payments Made in Washington?

The way in which payments are made varies on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent upon a court order. For example, a court may decide that payments should be made once a month, or a court may decide that a payment should be made in a single lump sum.

The duration of payments is also up to the discretion of the court. Some payments may last for many years, while others may be limited to only a few years. Circumstances that may affect the duration of payment include the ages of both parties, as well as skill sets or potentially acquired skill sets that could lead to income.

Once both parties make an agreement or a court order for payments is issued, it can be hard to adjust, even if circumstances change. According to the RCW 26.23.050, payments are due following court orders unless the two parties reach a written agreement approved by the court for an alternate arrangement or if one of the parties demonstrates a good reason for payments to change, and the court approves the arrangement. 

Seek Help from an Alimony Lawyer in Bellevue Today!

Going through a divorce is often an emotional, trying and time-consuming process. Get the help of a Seattle alimony lawyer. An attorney will advocate for your rights during a divorce and can ensure that you receive a fair outcome.

At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, we help you understand alimony payments and help you arrive at a fair divorce agreement or represent you in court if necessary. To start working with our team today, call (425) 460-0550 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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