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The basics to Washington spousal support

If you are getting divorced in Washington, you may be entitled to spousal support.
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    December 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is a monthly payment awarded to a separated or divorced spouse. In Washington, the payment plan is based on a variety of factors, including some of the following:
- The length of the couple's marriage
- The age of the parties
- The general health of the parties
- The employment history of the parties
- The earning capabilities of each party (past and present)
- The standard of living during the marriage

Ultimately, a court will make a determination and award alimony for a specific length of time in an amount that it feels is fair and equitable. Those payments will be taxable to the receiving party and a tax deduction to the paying party.

If you anticipate spousal support payments after your marriage, you should know a few things about the payment system.

First, you should determine whether you are eligible for payments. This payment plan is generally not permitted after short-term marriages. If your marriage was short, you may not qualify for alimony. Moreover, if both you and your former spouse are financially self-sufficient, you both may not qualify, but that really depends upon the factors set forth above. Each case is different and it is the facts of your own case that determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance. In addition, the spousal maintenance payments generally end once the receiving party remarries.

It is important to note that Washington does not use a cut and dried alimony calculation to assess the amount of spousal maintenance payments. Therefore, it is imperative to gather financial documents in support of your case, including bank statements for several years to establish the standard of living and expenditures made during the marriage.

Specifically, the amount is determined by the court, unless the parties come to an agreement. The court will examine the income, assets and expenses of the involved parties. It helps to provide the court with bills, bank statements, tax forms and W-2 documents and a complete financial history of your marriage.

While the state does not follow hard and fast calculations, it is possible to create an estimate of your anticipated payments. A qualified attorney can help you make a prediction of payments.

One basis for awarding spousal maintenance is for the recipient party to obtain education, training or employment. However, if the marriage was lengthy, the support payments will generally last longer, depending upon the age and earning abilities of both parties.

In the end, the payment system is not black and white. You may have several unanswered questions about the alimony program. To learn more, the best thing to do is to consult with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer versed in such laws is capable of helping you sort through your matter with detailed logic.

Article provided by Law Offices of Susan Millican O'Brian & Associates, P.S.
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