Spousal Maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, is designed to provide a means for each party in a divorce to maintain a similar economic lifestyle to that achieved within the marriage. In determining the amount of maintenance to be awarded, the Washington Court may examine the need of the party requesting alimony as well as the ability of the giving party.
Maintenance can be considered rehabilitative, giving a disadvantaged spouse income while he or she gets back into the workforce; or compensatory, when a person has supported a spouse through professional school in the mutual expectation of future financial benefit to the community, but the marriage ends before that benefit can be realized. In this case, the supporting spouse may be compensated through a division of property and liabilities. When the assets of the parties are insufficient to permit compensation to be effected entirely through property division, a supplemental award of spousal maintenance is appropriate.
The two primary issues in a case involving spousal maintenance, is how much, and for how long. There are many factors that go into the determination of these issues. In a consultation with an attorney, we can advise you of the statutory factors a court uses in setting spousal maintenance, and give you an idea of what you could expect in maintenance.