How Much Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Can I Expect to Pay In a Seattle Divorce?

Watch my video on Spousal Maintenance (alimony) here.

In Washington State divorce cases, and therefore in a Seattle divorce, there is no magic formula to determine spousal maintenance or alimony.

There are a number of factors the court considers and a wide variety of possible outcomes.

Spousal Maintenance is determined based upon two things:

  1. The need of the receiving spouse
  2. The ability of the paying spouse to pay

The idea behind maintenance is that the non-wage earning spouse, or the lower-wage earning spouse, is entitled to receive money for some period of time in order to allow that spouse to get back into the work force or to build an asset base.

Now typically, in the past, the man/husband was always the primary wage earner. There was a time in America when the wife was the homemaker, and the man was the provider. Typically, the wife had no wages and everything flowed through the husband. Remember those good old days?

It’s not like that anymore. Typically both spouses in this day and age have jobs or careers, and in many cases, it’s the woman who is the higher wage earner and the husband in those cases can actually receive alimony or spousal maintenance from her. Different times, different results.

Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) awards vary on two levels:

  1. how much the amount will be
  2. how long it will be  paid

This is all determined, again, by the need of the recipient and ability of the other spouse to pay.

There can also be temporary court orders concerning temporary spousal support during the time between filing for divorce and the time your divorce is actually finalized.

Alimony is considered taxable income, and is a tax deduction for the spouse making the payment.

There are many factors the court takes into consideration to determine spousal maintenance. That is why it’s a good idea to make sure your divorce attorney has spent some time in court. She will be aware of how the court is dealing with this in regard to current divorce cases and trends in society, and she will understand how best to position you in any spousal maintenance or alimony arguments in your divorce.

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