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Spousal maintenance may provide new opportunities

| Apr 3, 0202 | Family Law

During your marriage, your spouse may have been the breadwinner, or perhaps your spouse has quite a bit of separate property. Regardless, the result is that your spouse will be in good financial shape after the divorce, and your outlook is not so rosy.

Receiving spousal support may even things out, and it also may give you the opportunity to kickstart a good career.

Will the judge award alimony?

When arguing for spousal maintenance, you should consider the factors that judges use to determine whether it is necessary and fair. According to Washington state law, your ability to meet your own financial needs is at the top of the list. These factors are also relevant:

  • How many assets you have after the property division phase of the divorce
  • How long your marriage lasted
  • How you lived during your marriage (standard of living)
  • How old you are
  • How well your former spouse can meet his or her own needs

If you can show that your standard of living will diminish significantly, but your former spouse can afford to help you, the judge may rule in your favor.

How should you spend alimony?

If you have a health condition or your child has a health condition and it prevents you from maintaining gainful employment, then any alimony payments you receive will likely have to go toward your living expenses.

However, your main obstacle to self-sufficiency may be a lack of education, training and experience in a career field. Often, people miss out on opportunities such as these because they supported the breadwinning spouse’s career at the expense of their own. In this case, your maintenance payments can rectify that sacrifice by enabling you to reenter the workforce in a career that provides you with financial stability and job satisfaction.