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Tacoma Spousal Support Attorneys (253) 572-7272

Spousal Support in Washington State
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony/Support)

Washington State's spousal support statute provides only general guidance and no specific "formulas" regarding an award of maintenance.  In general, spousal maintenance can be awarded where there is a need on the part of one spouse and an ability to pay on the part of the other spouse.

Once called "alimony," spousal support is now typically referred to as "spousal maintenance."  There are many misconceptions about maintenance in Washington State.  For example, it will not be awarded or withheld as punishment for marital misconduct.  It can also be awarded in cases where one party has simply chosen not to work at all even though they are capable of earning some income in the workplace.

The duration and amount of support awarded will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of your case.  In determining the need for maintenance, and the appropriate duration and amount, the court is supposed to consider the following factors:
  • financial resources of each party;
  • work experience and earning prospects of each spouse, including consideration for the time required for one spouse to obtain training for becoming employed or self-supporting;
  • age and physical and emotional conditions of each party;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the standard of living established during the marriage.
If you have questions about spousal maintenance as it relates to your divorce case, we encourage you to call our offices for a free phone consultation.  Any experienced family law attorney will tell you that because the issue of spousal support is so fact specific, it is really impossible to assess any situation and potential maintenance award without having a lot of information about you, your spouse, and your marriage.


Washington State's Spousal Support Statute


RCW 26.09.090

Maintenance orders for either spouse — Factors.


(1) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, declaration of invalidity, or in a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse. The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including but not limited to:

     (a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;

     (b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his skill, interests, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;

     (c) The standard of living established during the marriage;

     (d) The duration of the marriage;

     (e) The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance; and

     (f) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

The Law Offices of Jason S. Newcombe provides divorce and spousal maintenance and spousal support representation to clients throughout Tacoma and Pierce County.  Whether your case involves a 30-year marriage or one considerably shorter, the issue of alimony or spousal support is often a critical aspect to any divorce proceeding.   Washington's spousal maintenance laws are often difficult to apply and are very fact specific.  Our experienced Tacoma Spousal Support Lawyers handle all contested and uncontested matters for clients located in University Place, Spanaway, Tacoma, Fife, Bonney Lake, Puyallup and Lakewood.  Our Tacoma and Pierce County family law attorneys are here to help you understand Washington State's laws regarding spousal maintenance and spousal support, which is also sometime referred to as Washington State alimony. 

The information provided above is solely for informational purposes, and is not a substitute for legal advice.