How to get spousal support in Washington?
In a divorce action, state law provides that spousal support, referred to as spousal maintenance, may be granted to either spouse. The basic principle the Court follows when setting the amount and duration of spousal support is the need of one spouse versus the ability of the other spouse to pay.
What is spousal support?
There are two types of spousal support:
Rehabilitative: This is for a limited period of time and is to enable one of the spouses to get the education or training necessary to find a job. This is usually awarded where one of the parties has not been working during the marriage. In this situation, the general rule is for every 4 years of marriage, 1 year of spousal maintenance will be awarded. However, this is not a hard and fast rule.
Permanent: This continues for a long period of time, possibly until the death of the party receiving the spousal support. This is typically awarded if the marriage was very long and one spouse did not work, or where one of the parties is unable to work due to physical or mental illness.
An experienced attorney will provide you with the likely outcome in court and what the best approach is for requesting spousal maintenance and how much to request. Every case is different, and you cannot compare this type of request to the situation of a friend or another family member who went through a divorce.
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