Spousal Support

Ensuring you can both live comfortably

You married and spent time establishing a life together. As you look to create separate lives, you need to carefully evaluate an equitable and supportive division of assets to ensure you can both live comfortably. One of you may have supported the other through college or saw tremendous career growth, or maybe one of you stepped back from your career to be a caregiver for your children. Whatever the circumstance, spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony, is the legal mechanism to address the financial disparity in divorcing or separating couples’ incomes.


Our Washington-based family law attorneys can help secure your financial wellbeing during and after your divorce by evaluating potential temporary or long-term spousal support needs and requests. 


Options for Spousal Support in Washington


Support issues can be addressed and agreed upon as part of your negotiations or formally requested in court. It may be necessary to request temporary maintenance from the court to ensure your financial wellbeing while a settlement agreement can be worked out or trial preparations begin. You can work with our skilled spousal support lawyers to find the right solution for your financial situation.


Awarding & Calculating Spousal Support

You can request support through legal separation or divorce. In Washington State, spousal support is based on need and ability to pay. The receiving spouse must have a need, and the paying spouse must have the ability to pay. The amount and length of any spousal support are dependent on several factors. Some of the factors considered when evaluating alimony in Washington State are:

  • Relative financial needs of both people
  • The ability to pay given other financial obligations
  • How long the couple has been married
  • Respective age and the physical and emotional health of both parties
  • The financial resources of the requesting spouse, taking into consideration their share of community property and child support orders
  • Whether one person gave up career opportunities to support the family

Our deeply experienced team can help assess the amount and duration of support that would be fair.


Terminating or Modifying Spousal Support Orders

Spousal support in Washington State may be modifiable under certain conditions. Your Final Divorce Order (Decree of Dissolution) should list conditions that will end spousal support automatically, such as remarriage by the receiving party. 
Often spousal support is ordered as non-modifiable. However, your life may change significantly after your divorce; you may find you can no longer afford to pay maintenance. If this applies to you, contact us. One of our spousal support attorneys can review your circumstances and discuss your options. If your ex seeks to reduce or cancel your spousal support, we will evaluate the options and negotiate terms to help meet your needs.


How to Find a Compassionate Washington-based Spousal Support Attorney



Judges have tremendous discretion to award or deny spousal maintenance in Washington State. However, decisions must be just and fair based on the specific facts of your case. The experienced alimony lawyers on our team can help evaluate your financial options for spousal support at every step in your case.


Whether you need financial support to continue your schooling, want to explore if modifying support is an option, or need help obtaining temporary support during divorce proceedings, we are here to help. Call our team today.


Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.


Blog Posts

As a Seattle entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly dedicated countless hours and resources to building a successful business. You’ve dotted all of your I’s and crossed all of your T’s. But have you considered what will happen to your business after you're…

In today’s world of fast-paced decision-making and on-demand solutions, such as DIY divorces, it is not surprising that many couples contemplate divorce the moment they find themselves unhappily married. Our culture’s fickle mentality often seems to advocate for the idea…

Far too many families end up fighting, or at least experiencing tension, over a family inheritance, but it does not have to be that way. Having counseled families for years, we offer the following advice to help your family avoid fighting over your property — while you are here and after you die.

If you are getting divorced, you may be worried about what it will do to your finances. Maybe your finances are heavily intertwined with your spouse’s, or you are worried about what your future will look like, given these changes.…

Establishing paternity and parentage is important for many families and parents. Regardless of why you want to establish paternity and parentage, the process has the potential to be confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terms and rules for…

After divorce, you may find yourself living on one less stream of income than you did when you were married and want to find a way to make up for it. Or even if you didn’t lose any income by…

You can use Collaborative Law to support your process of creating and negotiating a prenup with your partner.

As a divorce and family law attorney, I have yet to hear of anyone getting married and opening a savings account for divorce fees should they need such an account down the road. I also do not know of anyone…

Divorce can be a time of confusion and complexity. In addition to any emotional or other stress, your divorce can impact both your and your ex’s will. Therefore, it is important to understand what that impact may be and what…

While software developers are among the professions with the lowest divorce rates, coming in at 20.3%, workers in the technology sector who divorce face specific challenges during the divorce process. From how to locate and divide assets to determining parenting…

For parents, divorce often raises many questions surrounding extracurricular activities. These questions usually include whether the children will get to participate in the extracurricular activities (sports, performing arts classes, music lessons, art classes, etc.) they did before the divorce, expanded…

A revocable trust or living trust is an instrument created, as part of your overall estate plan, for the purpose of protecting your assets, including investments, during your lifetime. It can also allow for a smoother transition of said assets…

Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it is necessary to ensure your assets are in order and your loved ones are taken care of. Establishing an estate plan can also make certain issues easier for you and your family during…

In Washington state, alimony is referred to as maintenance. Maintenance is court-ordered spousal support payments that one spouse makes to assist with the living expenses of the other spouse for a period of time and for a particular purpose.  Maintenance…

The homes. The boat. The investment accounts. During a high-net-worth divorce, the disposition of these and other assets (and debts) may be one of the most significant reasons underlying the contention between you and your soon-to-be-ex, making these types of…