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What factors affect alimony in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2023 | Family Law |

Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is the amount of money that a dependent spouse receives from the supporting spouse after a divorce. The amount paid can change under certain circumstances, and the payments may not be permanent. However, there are certain things that judges consider when deciding spousal maintenance payments.

What factors affect alimony in a divorce in Washington State?

How long the couple remained married

The length of time that a couple stayed in their marriage is a common consideration when it comes to determining spousal support. Generally, the longer the marriage, the longer the dependent spouse can receive support. Those who are coming out of a marriage of over 20 years or so are more likely to encounter permanent alimony.

What their standard of living looked like

It is ideal for both spouses to maintain the same standard of living after getting divorced that they had while married, and courts adjust alimony payments to reflect this. If one spouse has a much lower paying job than the other, for example, then their supporting spouse may make higher payments than they would if their incomes were more equal.

Other financial burdens

Courts may also look at other financial burdens that the dependent and supporting spouse will have after they divorce. For example, the higher-earning supporting spouse might have a lot of debt that a judge could factor in when determining alimony payments.

When it comes to alimony in Washington State, it is better if both the dependent spouse and the supporting spouse are aware of its determining factors.

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