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A woman flips through a book for her infant daughter after going to court for additional alimony.


“What about alimony?” That may be the most nerve-wracking question in family law. Followed by “Will I have to pay it?” and “Can I get it?”

In Washington, "alimony" is called "spousal maintenance." Some clients don’t want or need spousal maintenance. Others are sure they will have to pay. Some cannot pay it; some, in fairness, need it.

The answer to every question and assumption about spousal support in Washington is a resounding, “It depends.”

Spousal support is complicated. Whether you will receive or have to pay spousal maintenance depends on lots of different factors. One thing we know: if you have been married for 10 years or more, spousal maintenance may be in the picture in one way or another.

Our courts don’t have statutory spousal maintenance guidelines like they do for child support. There are no established guidelines for what the court may (or may not) accept. Absent an agreement, it’s almost impossible to predict what a court might or might not order.

It’s not just about income. There are many other factors taken into account when deciding spousal support. Factors include need, ability to pay (which is separate from income if you think about it), the length of the marriage, standard of living over the past years, ages, physical and emotional condition, and other financial obligations.

One thing is not a factor in any calculation – fault (the cause of the divorce). Washington is a no-fault state; the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  

If you remember high school algebra and the many variables of the quadratic equation, you have a sense of what deciding alimony looks like. 

Wysocki Law is well versed in what the court considers when deciding whether spousal support is necessary while the divorce is pending, and after the final decree. We work with you on your priorities. We compile all the financial information needed. We work with financial experts if they are called for. We will present your strongest case.

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A man hugs his yound daughter before leaving for school and a spousal maintenance hearing


What Our Clients Are Saying

​"Cindy has an amazingly astute legal mind. Her powerful legal analysis distinguishes her as one of the leading Family, Divorce and Child Custody lawyers in our area. She has helped me understand my Divorce options and has left me feeling very empowered."

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Call or email our office to learn more about your options and Wysocki Law is a good fit for your situation.

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