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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.

Washington does not have statutory spousal maintenance guidelines like it does for child support. Absent an agreement, it’s almost impossible to predict what a court might or might not order. 

When couples collaborate to determine spousal maintenance, they maintain a degree of control over the outcome. An agreed upon spousal maintenance arrangement can provide both spouses financial peace of mind. 

In figuring out an appropriate amount of spousal maintenance, 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.


Negotiating spousal maintenance together with the assistance of attorneys or mediators often leads to reduced stress and emotional strain on both parties. This can be particularly important for couples with children, as a less contentious divorce is less likely to negatively affect the kids.  

Wysocki Law is well versed in the Washington laws governing spousal maintenance.  We know 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 unique priorities. We compile all the financial information needed. We work with financial experts if they are called for. We will do everything in our power to help you resolve spousal maintenance with dignity.   

Contact our office

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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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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