Spousal Maintenance / Alimony in Olympia, WA

In Washington what is commonly referred to as alimony is called spousal maintenance. It is only available in dissolution (divorce), legal separation and invalidity of marriage cases. The amount of a spousal maintenance award is based in part on the financially disadvantaged party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. In awarding maintenance, the court looks at the financial circumstances of each spouse, the amount of time necessary to acquire the education or skills necessary to find appropriate employment, the age and health of the spouse seeking maintenance, the standard of living during the marriage, and the length of the marriage. Marital misconduct by one spouse does not play a role in determining whether or how much maintenance will be awarded. In the case of a short marriage of five years or fewer, maintenance is generally not paid except for possibly a brief period to allow a successful adjustment. In a long term marriage of 25 years or more, maintenance can be awarded in an attempt to equalize the financial situations of the spouses if they each work to their reasonable capacities.