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Lakewood Alimony

Get A Fair Alimony Settlement With Our Trusted Lakewood Attorneys

Outside of the emotional trauma, one of the hardest things about divorce in Lakewood is facing an uncertain financial future, especially since thecost of living here is higher than in other areas of the country. Our alimony attorneys understand your financial concerns, which is why we're here to support you through this challenging time and help you protect your financial future. We'll assess your situation, determine what is fair under Washington law, and protect your rights during the alimony process.

What Is Alimony In The State Of Washington?

In Washington, alimony is known as "spousal maintenance," the monetary assistance one spouse offers the other after a divorce or legal separation. Spousal maintenance aims to enable the receiving spouse to sustain a lifestyle comparable to that experienced during the marriage or to aid them in achieving financial independence.

Two types of spousal maintenance are recognized in Washington:

  • Temporary Maintenance - refers to financial support provided to a spouse during divorce proceedings until a final settlement is reached
  • Permanent Maintenance - involves ongoing financial support provided to a former spouse after the Courts finalize the divorce, typically ordered when one spouse lacks the means to support themselves adequately.

Temporary maintenance is often granted within the divorce process to offer support until a definitive settlement. Conversely, the Pierce County Courts can establish permanent maintenance after the divorce to provide continuous support.

In Washington, the duration of the marriage usually determines the length of spousal maintenance payments. For shorter marriages, the courts might award maintenance for a brief period, while longer marriages may warrant extended or, in some cases, indefinite maintenance periods.

Generally, spousal maintenance orders in Washington are adjustable, meaning that either spouse can request a modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, like a change in income or employment status.

Who Qualifies For Spousal Support In Pierce County?

To determine the eligibility for spousal support, alternatively referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, the courts assess various factors. There isn't a rigid formula to qualify for spousal support, but specific conditions can enhance its award chances. Key considerations that may affect eligibility include:

  • Financial Necessity: The spouse requesting support must prove a need for financial assistance by demonstrating a considerable difference in income or the ability to earn between the spouses.
  • Standard Of Living During Marriage: Pierce County Courts often consider the standard of living established during the marriage. If one spouse is accustomed to a lifestyle and cannot maintain post-divorce due to economic factors, they may be more likely to qualify for spousal support.
  • Length of Marriage: Longer marriages may result in a higher likelihood of spousal support being awarded. In Washington, marriages of shorter duration may result in shorter-term spousal support, while longer marriages may lead to indefinite or longer-term support.
  • Income Gap: A substantial disparity in income or earning capability between spouses can impact the eligibility for spousal support. When one spouse earns significantly more or has a greater potential to earn than the other, the spouse with the lower income is more likely to be considered for support.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: Pierce County Family Courts consider the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, and support of the other spouse's career or education. If one spouse sacrifices career opportunities to support the other spouse's career or to care for the family, they may be more likely to qualify for spousal support.
  • Health and Age: The health and age of each spouse may also be factors in determining eligibility for spousal support. For example, if one spouse has health issues that limit their ability to work or if they are nearing retirement age, they may be more likely to qualify for support.
  • Education and Employment Opportunities: Each spouse's education, skills, and employment opportunities may also be considered by the court. If one spouse has limited education or job skills that make it difficult to find employment, they may be more likely to qualify for spousal support.

It's crucial to understand that the determination of eligibility for spousal support is made individually for each case, with no assured outcomes regarding qualification for support for either spouse. This is why it’s advisable to seek advice from a Lakewood spousal maintenance attorney knowledgeable about Pierce County's laws and procedures. They can offer tailored advice on the likelihood of qualifying for spousal support.

What Are Some Legal Options To Ensure A Fair Alimony During My Pierce County Divorce?

Washington state offers a variety of legal options to ensure fairness when determining spousal maintenance. Here are some to consider:

  • Negotiation: One option is to negotiate an arrangement directly with your spouse or through your attorneys. This process allows you to tailor the terms of alimony to your specific circumstances, potentially resulting in a more satisfactory outcome for both parties.
  • Mediation: Mediation represents an alternative method for resolving disputes. It involves a neutral third party who assists you and your spouse in making a mutually agreeable decision on matters like spousal support. This approach tends to be less contentious and expensive than court litigation, often resulting in more innovative resolutions.
  • Collaborative Divorce: In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse each have your attorney, but you commit to resolving issues collaboratively outside of the court. This process can be beneficial for reaching a fair spousal support agreement while minimizing conflict.
  • Litigation: If negotiation, mediation, or collaboration are not successful or appropriate in your case, you may need to litigate the issue of spousal support in court. During litigation, a Pierce County Court judge will consider pertinent factors, including the time you were married, the financial status of each spouse, and their contributions to the marriage, to ascertain an equitable alimony settlement.
  • Seek Temporary Orders: If you need financial support during the divorce process, you can seek temporary spousal support orders to address immediate needs until you reach a final agreement or court decision.

By exploring these legal options and working with your Lakewood spousal support attorney, you can pursue a fair alimony arrangement that considers your financial needs and circumstances.

How Does An Attorney Help My Pierce County Alimony Case?

Spousal maintenance attorneys provide valuable assistance in your alimony case. Here are some of the ways they can support you:

  1. Specialized Legal Knowledge: A family law attorney brings specialized expertise in the laws of Washington state related to spousal support. They can clarify your legal rights and responsibilities and illuminate how different factors may influence your case's outcome.
  2. Detailed Case Review: An attorney can closely examine the nuances of your situation, such as your financial condition, marriage duration, and other pertinent aspects influencing spousal support. They offer insights into your case's strengths and potential challenges, advising on probable scenarios.
  3. Strategic Planning: With a thorough evaluation of your case, an attorney can guide you in formulating a strategic approach to achieve equitable spousal support. This plan may include negotiation tactics with your spouse or their legal representative, preparation for mediation or collaborative divorce processes, or gearing up for court if needed.
  4. Negotiation Expertise: Lawyers possess proficient negotiation skills, enabling them to represent your best interests effectively in discussions with your spouse or their lawyer. They aim to secure a spousal support agreement that aligns with your requirements, ensuring fairness and balance.
  5. Courtroom Representation: In instances where your case advances to court, having an attorney ensures you have professional legal support throughout the trial. They can submit evidence, articulate legal arguments, and champion your cause to the judge, striving for a decision in your favor concerning spousal support.
  6. Legal Documentation: An attorney can prepare and file all necessary legal documents for your spousal support case, ensuring that paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time. Count on them to file petitions, motions, financial disclosures, and other required documentation.
  7. Emotional Support: The process of divorce and negotiating spousal support can be emotionally challenging. A lawyer can offer assistance and advice, enabling you to move through the process with assurance and understanding.
  8. Enforcement or Modification: If you already have a spousal support order and need assistance with enforcement or modification, an attorney can help. They can advise you on your options for enforcing unpaid support or seeking a modification of the existing order based on changed circumstances.

In Lakewood, navigating the complexities of alimony requires the expertise of a specialized attorney. Our team of alimony attorneys brings a wealth of experience, ensuring that your rights and effectively represent your interests. We understand the intricacies of Lakewood's legal system and are adept at negotiating and litigating to secure the most favorable outcomes. Our Lakewood legal team has the specialized knowledge required to manage the intricacies of every case, from calculating the correct amount of spousal support to adjusting current arrangements. Opting for our services means you're enlisting dedicated professionals focused on securing the most favorable outcomes for you. Contact us today to safeguard your financial well-being and obtain peace of mind during these difficult times.

Client Reviews
Laurie has worked on my very challenging and contentious divorce and I could not have asked for a better family law attorney. She was able to handle all of the twists and turns of my case with ease. I highly recommend Laurie to anyone looking for an excellent, ethical and hard working counselor. Chandler
Laurie is an incredible divorce lawyer! She did an amazing job with my divorce, and it was a real dog fight the whole way. She is a true fighter. And you can tell that she really cares about her family law clients and the results that she achieves for them. John
My lawyer guided me through a very challenging time in my life when I was going through my divorce. She worked hard and explained every step of the way what was going on so I could understand the process. I was very happy with her work. Barbel