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Tacoma alimony attorney

The divorce process can be long and difficult. If you are not careful, you risk having to pay a significant amount of alimony (Spousal Support) to your former spouse or domestic partner for a long period. Fortunately, a Tacoma divorce lawyer can help you avoid steep alimony payments.

At Divorce Lawyers for Men, we understand the alimony challenges that can develop during the divorce process. Our Tacoma alimony attorney can help you address and overcome these challenges. To learn more, please reach out to us.

tacoma alimony attorney

When is a spouse or domestic partner entitled to support?

Washington State courts determine your spousal support obligation based on your spouse’s financial need and your ability to pay. Typically the spouse that earns more than their counterpart will be ordered to pay spousal support. For example, you may be the sole breadwinner in your marriage. If you go through the divorce process in Tacoma, the court may order you to pay alimony because your former partner exclusively relied on you for financial support. This is also true if you have historically earned significantly more than your counterpart, and they have depended on your stronger earnings. 

What factors determine the amount of spousal support?

In determining the spousal support (spousal maintenance) orders in Washington State, the court will consider the finances of both parties involved in a divorce to determine if either individual is entitled to spousal support. It will look at what each spouse currently earns and make certain that both parties are financially protected. The court will review many factors outside of each person’s income, including:

  • Age of both parties
  • Length of the marriage
  • Each party’s education and career experience
  • The future earning capacity of each party
  • The overall health of both parties
  • Standard of living when the parties were together

The court will consider whether each party can independently take care of themselves after the marriage or domestic partnership is dissolved.

It weighs all of these factors in combination with one another before it decides if either party should be entitled to spousal support — and if so, what amount and for what duration. 

The court may periodically decrease or increase the amount of spousal support until your maintenance obligation ends. 

Divorce Lawyers for Men can connect you with a Tacoma alimony lawyer who can discuss these factors and many others with you. We can review the marriage laws in Washington State and other legal topics with you. To get started, please contact us today. 

Financial resources of the party seeking maintenance

In a Tacoma divorce case, the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance can play a role in whether you are ordered to pay spousal support. These resources consist of any property that this party maintains or has the right to access. If your former partner has little to no property from your marriage or domestic partnership, the court may be inclined to order maintenance payments. 

It is important to note that alimony and child support are separate and distinct from one another. You can be ordered to pay for both. If one parent is the child’s primary caregiver, this can impact spousal support payments. This parent needs financial resources to support both themselves and the children, and the court will issue alimony orders accordingly. 

A Tacoma spousal support lawyer can examine your financial resources. They can offer tips and recommendations to make sure that your property is protected. On top of that, they can advocate for you and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout your divorce proceedings. 

Time required for the party seeking maintenance to attain financial independence

There is no set formula for courts in Washington State to determine how long alimony payments will last. A Washington court can order you to pay alimony until you die. This is a worst-case scenario for anyone who has many assets while their former spouse does not. In some instances, those required to pay permanent alimony are forced to take money out of their social security checks to do so. 

If your partner worked very little or did not work during your marriage or domestic partnership, you may be required to pay alimony for several years. This gives your former partner ample time to pursue new education and employment opportunities or return to the workforce. On the other hand, if you have been married for 25 years or longer, a court may order you to pay long-term or permanent maintenance. The Court will order the payment of spousal support until your counterpart is financially independent.  

Duration of the marriage or partnership

A court will consider how long you have been married or in a domestic partnership. There can be a direct correlation between the length of your marriage and your alimony payments. Washington State defines marriages based on their duration. These marriages fall into the following categories:

  • Short-Term Marriage: Lasts fewer than five years. 
  • Medium-Duration Marriage: Lasts about five to 25 years.
  • Long-Term Marriage: Lasts 25 years or longer.

If you were in a long-term marriage, a Washington court may require you to pay spousal support for the rest of your life. Comparatively, your alimony payments are likely to be less if you were married for less than 25 years. If you were only married for an extremely short amount of time, a court may not require you to pay alimony. 

Standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership

During a divorce, it is expected that the standard of living for both parties involved will change. Moving forward, each party’s basic financial needs must be met. If this is not the case, a court may order alimony to ensure that each party has enough money for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. 

If you and your former partner enjoyed a high standard of living, you will not necessarily have to pay alimony to continue to support this lifestyle. An alimony attorney in Tacoma will help you argue that you should not be required to pay an exorbitant amount of spousal support. They can also provide evidence to support your request to keep your spousal support payments as low as possible. 

tacoma spousal support lawyer

Spousal support attorneys in Tacoma can assess the standard of living relating to your marriage or domestic partnership. They can help you establish a marital standard of living and determine what expenses were reasonable and which ones were not during your partnership. From here, they can build an argument designed to help the court understand your point of view. 

Health and financial condition of the party seeking maintenance

If one party is in poor health, this can impact a court’s decision to order alimony. For example, you may be dealing with a long-term medical issue. An alimony lawyer in Tacoma can present medical evidence on your behalf, which may lead a court to reduce its spousal support order or help you avoid one altogether. 

The financial condition of the party seeking maintenance can impact a court’s decision to order maintenance. If your former spouse has previously not worked, they may need to go back to school or receive work training to earn a steady income. Thus, a court may order alimony payments until your ex-spouse can gain the skills that they need to go to work. 

Your attorney can review your health and financial condition and your former partner’s. They can give you insights into how your health and finances and your ex-partner’s physical and financial health can impact your divorce case. Your lawyer will look for ways to show that the health and financial condition of the party seeking maintenance in your case should not be the determining factor that leads to a maintenance order against you.   

How can a Tacoma alimony attorney help me?

If you are thinking about representing yourself in your divorce case, think again. Hiring an attorney gives you access to a legal representative who can help you navigate the ins and outs of the divorce process. They can put together an argument that protects your legal rights, including those relating to alimony payments. 

Your former partner may argue that they deserve spousal support. Regardless, your attorney works with you to dispute this argument. They act in your best interests throughout your litigation and make sure that you receive plenty of support at each stage of the divorce process. 

Also, your lawyer can provide you with many divorce resources. They want you to feel confident as you move through your divorce proceedings. If you ever have concerns or questions at any point during these proceedings, your attorney is ready to respond to them. 

How long does spousal support last?

There is no telling how long spousal support will last. Each divorce case is different, and the court will consider many factors before it determines if alimony is required. Someone who has been married for many years is more likely to be required to pay spousal support versus an individual who has been married for one year or less. 

To determine the length of spousal support, the court will evaluate the length of your partnership in conjunction with many other factors. Even if you were married for a short period, the court can still order spousal support for many years after your partnership ends. With help from an experienced divorce law firm, you can prevent this from happening. 

If you are concerned about spousal support, partner with an alimony attorney. You can share your concerns with this attorney. Next, your lawyer can explore ways to help you avoid high alimony payments. 

Contact a skilled Tacoma alimony attorney today

Divorce Lawyers for Men has handled thousands of divorce cases to date. We can review your divorce case and help you craft an argument designed to help you get the best possible results. For more information or to request a consultation with our Tacoma alimony lawyer, please contact us online or call us at (360) 866-7393. 

Frequently asked questions about alimony in Tacoma

Spousal support can be a touchy subject in divorce cases. At Divorce Lawyers for Men, we understand alimony and have received many questions about it over the years. We have included answers to some of the most common questions we get about spousal support below — for additional help with your alimony case, please get in touch with us. 

Can a spouse receive both alimony and child support?

A spouse can receive child support that provides this individual with a sufficient amount of money to cover them and their children. Typically, a Washington State court will consider the number of children, each party’s income, and other factors. At this point, the court may order child support payments to ensure any children can enjoy an equitable standard of living when they are in each parent’s care.

Can spousal support be changed after the divorce decree is entered?

Spousal support can be put into place for a certain amount of time. Or, if either party has a substantial change in their life, they may submit a request for a change in alimony. For example, if you suffer an injury that affects your ability to work, you may be able to request a reduction in spousal support.

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