Call: 360-866-7393

Domestic Violence and Alimony

Home / Blog / Domestic Violence and Alimony

Would our Courts order the victim of Domestic Violence to pay spousal support to the abuser? Unfortunately, Yes.


Washington is a “No-Fault” State for divorce.  That means you do not have to plead and prove Marital Misconduct to obtain a divorce.  You are not even allowed to mention it.  Since the only grounds for divorce in No-Fault States is the “Irretrievable Breakdown” of the marriage, spousal misconduct, including domestic violence and abuse, is irrelevant and not admissible.

Our State laws expressly prohibit the Court from considering marital misconduct (domestic violence, adultery, etc.), when awarding spousal support or making the property division.  “The maintenance order (spousal support) shall be in such amount and for such periods of time as the Court deems just, without regard to misconduct,”. RCW 26.09.090  “The Court shall, without regard to misconduct, make such disposition of the property and liabilities of the parties”.  RCW 26.09.080 

And to add insult to injury, RCW 26.09.140 allows the Court to order a spouse to pay the attorney fees and cost for their soon to be ex-spouse “after considering the financial resources of both parties”.  There is no mention of misconduct disqualifying an abuser from having their attorney fees paid for them by their victim.  The only factor considered in awarding attorney fees is the parties’ financial resources, not their conduct.

In the few States that still allow “At Fault” divorce actions, the Court may consider misconduct as a basis for denying alimony or adjusting the division of property, but are not required to do so.

Regardless of its impact on spousal maintenance (Alimony) rulings, you should always document and report any domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, know that there are organizations out there to help. There are many resources in Washington, but you can start by looking at the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Real People, Real Results

Divorce Lawyers for Men Reviews

"I never thought my wife would agree to anything. After a few discussions though, we were able to agree on a lot of issues concerning the children. Divorce Lawyers for Men helped me put those agreements in writing and resolve my divorce with less conflict."

"Divorce Lawyers for Men was very helpful with my case. The staff and attorneys are very knowledgeable and provided great advice. They provided me understanding of various courses of action and brought to light specific things I wouldn't have thought of. Most importantly respected my decisions and beliefs in finalizing my case."

"My wife wanted to live in our house with her new boyfriend while I kept paying the mortgage. Divorce Lawyers for Men made sure the court saw all our property and debts. We sold the house and split the proceeds. I didn't have to pay for any free rides."

"I never wanted to get divorced. One day my wife came home and said that she had met someone else. Why do I have to lose my house and my children just because she is done with our marriage? Thankfully, I hired Divorce Lawyers for Men."

Washington's Only Statewide Family Law Network

Select an Office near You.

Bellevue
1520 140th Ave NE #200
Bellevue, WA 98005
Everett
2727 Oakes Ave #201
Everett, WA 98201
Kent
555 W Smith Street, Suite 106
Kent, WA 98032
Olympia
3025 Limited Ln NW #200
Olympia, WA 98502
Port Orchard
1740 Pottery Ave #300
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Puyallup
2102 E Main Ave #203
Puyallup, WA 98372
Seattle
701 5th Ave #4200
Seattle, WA 98101
Spokane
1008 N. Washington St., Second Floor
Spokane, WA 99201
Tacoma
1015 Pacific Avenue #301
Tacoma, WA 98402
Vancouver
237 NE Chkalov Dr #212
Vancouver, WA 98684