Spokane Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
In many Spokane divorce proceedings, one of the most fiercely contested issues is spousal maintenance. Traditionally referred to as alimony or spousal support, these payments are not intended as punishment for wrongdoing, but they nevertheless often place a heavy burden if you are required to make payments. On the other side of the equation, if you are receiving spousal support payments, you may feel that the payments are insufficient to cover basic needs.
Frequently, neither party is satisfied with a spousal maintenance plan as arranged by the court. Therefore, if you are involved in or considering divorce, it is advisable to consult with a Spokane spousal maintenance lawyer who understands the factors courts use in making spousal maintenance determinations and who can fight to obtain the best possible support payment award. Consult with a skilled family attorney that could fight for you.
How a Spousal Maintenance Award is Calculated in Spokane
Section 26.09.090 of the Washington State Code authorizes courts to order maintenance to be paid to either spouse or, in the case of a domestic partnership, either domestic partner. The statute gives the court discretion to set the amount and the duration of the payments based on a consideration of all relevant factors.
Both in theory and in practice, this language allows the courts a great deal of leeway in deciding whether to grant a maintenance order and how much money should be involved. Therefore, it is helpful to have a Spokane spousal maintenance attorney presents all favorable evidence clearly to the court.
Factors the Court Will Consider Before Awarding Maintenance
The statute authorizing maintenance orders also sets forth certain factors the court should consider. Possibly most important among these factors is an evaluation of the financial resources of the spouse who is asking for maintenance. The court should consider the amount of property allocated to that spouse. In addition, the court will consider that spouse’s ability to meet personal needs and any child support that spouse will be receiving.
Another factor is whether the party seeking spousal maintenance will need training or education to find appropriate employment, and if so, how much time will be necessary to obtain that training or education.
Standards of Living as a Factor
The court will also look at the parties’ standard of living during the marriage and the duration of that relationship. Other factors to take into consideration involve the situation of the party seeking spousal support, including that individual’s age, physical condition, emotional state, and financial obligations.
Finally, and most importantly from the perspective of the spouse being asked to make maintenance payments, the court will consider his or her ability to continue to meet personal needs while also making payments to fulfill the needs of the former partner.
Work with a Spokane Spousal Maintenance Attorney
Spousal maintenance payments can have a tremendous impact on the financial situation of either party in a divorce proceeding. Therefore, it is critical for both parties to put forward the most persuasive evidence possible to support their positions.
An experienced Spokane spousal maintenance lawyer who understands how courts evaluate each factor in a determination can effectively argue your position to the court to achieve a favorable outcome.
Whether you are seeking an award of maintenance from a former spouse or you have a former spouse demanding an unreasonable support payment from you, it helps to have a seasoned spousal maintenance lawyer to advocate on your behalf.