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Lakewood Spousal Maintenance

Your Pierce County Spousal Maintenance Legal Experts

Our Lakewood law firm's spousal maintenance attorneys are here to help guide you through every aspect of your spousal support case. We're dedicated to providing you with the support, knowledge, and legal expertise you need because we understand how challenging and complex navigating spousal maintenance can be.

Our team is well-versed in Washington State's spousal support laws. Whether you're seeking support or facing an obligation to pay, we're here to advocate for your rights and offer clear, compassionate guidance. Remember: you're not alone. Let's tackle this together.

What Are Your Rights To Spousal Maintenance In Washington?

Washington State law protects certain rights regarding spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support. These rights are outlined to ensure fair outcomes in divorce proceedings. Let's explore some key aspects of spousal maintenance in Washington:

  1. Right to Request Spousal Maintenance: Individuals can request spousal maintenance during divorce proceedings if they believe they are entitled to financial support from their spouse. This right enables them to seek assistance in maintaining their standard of living and meeting their financial needs post-divorce.
  2. Right to a Fair and Equitable Determination: If you’re undergoing divorce, you have the right to a fair and equitable determination of spousal maintenance based on the specific circumstances of your case. When determining spousal maintenance awards, Washington courts consider various factors, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial resources and needs, contributions to the marriage, and standard of living.
  3. Right to Legal Representation: During divorce proceedings, individuals have the right to legal representation, covering matters related to spousal maintenance. Having an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and advocate for your interests effectively.
  4. Right to Financial Disclosure: Another privilege individuals have during divorce proceedings is the right to access full and accurate financial information from their spouse. This allows them to assess their financial needs and advocate for fair spousal maintenance awards based on complete and transparent financial disclosure.
  5. Right to Enforce Spousal Maintenance Orders: Individuals have the right to enforce spousal maintenance orders if their former spouse fails to comply with the terms of the agreement. Enforcement mechanisms may include wage garnishment, property liens, and contempt of court proceedings.
  6. Right to Seek Modification: In Washington state, individuals have the right to modify spousal maintenance orders based on changes in income, employment status, or financial needs. Washington courts may modify spousal maintenance orders if a substantial change in circumstances warrants an adjustment.
  7. Right to Appeal Decisions: If a person believes there were errors in the legal process or the case outcome, they have the right to appeal court decisions related to spousal maintenance. The appellate process allows individuals to seek a review of the court's decision and potentially obtain a different outcome.

If you feel any of your rights are being infringed during your divorce process, speak to our Lakewood attorneys today. We'll fight to ensure you are treated fairly under the law.

What Are The Differences Between Temporary And Permanent Spousal Maintenance

In Pierce County, Washington, there are distinctions between temporary and permanent spousal maintenance, which primarily relate to the duration and purpose of the maintenance award. Here's an overview of the differences between the two:

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Courts award temporary spousal maintenance during the divorce process to support a spouse financially until a final resolution is reached. It maintains the financial status quo of both spouses during the divorce proceedings, ensuring that each has the means to cover living expenses and legal fees.

Temporary maintenance may be awarded based on one spouse showing need and the other spouse demonstrating the ability to pay. Its duration typically ends once the divorce is finalized or may be replaced by a different type of spousal maintenance if awarded in the final divorce decree. Temporary maintenance amounts are calculated based on temporary financial affidavits submitted by both parties which outline their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities during the divorce process.

Permanent Spousal Maintenance

Courts award permanent spousal maintenance, also called long-term or indefinite maintenance, after finalizing the divorce. It continues for an extended period or indefinitely. The Pierce County Courts are aware of permanent spousal maintenance when one spouse can't achieve financial independence due to age, health, limited earning capacity, or long-term marital roles.

For spouses unable to support themselves at the standard of living established during the marriage, permanent maintenance may provide them with ongoing financial support. Factors, including the length of your marriage, the financial resources and needs of each spouse, contributions to the marriage, and other pertinent circumstances, can impact both the duration and amount of spousal maintenance. If there is a substantial change in circumstances, the maintenance award may be subject to modification.

Your divorce’s circumstances will dictate whether temporary or permanent maintenance is suitable, as well as the amount and duration of the maintenance award. Seek guidance from a knowledgeable Lakewood family law attorney in Pierce County to grasp the implications of temporary and permanent spousal maintenance in your unique situation.

How Washington Courts Determine The Need For Spousal Maintenance

When considering whether to award spousal maintenance, Pierce County courts evaluate both spouses' financial circumstances to ensure fairness and equity in divorce proceedings. Here are some key factors that Washington courts consider when determining the need for spousal maintenance:

1. Income And Financial Resources

Courts assess each spouse's income and financial resources, including earnings, investments, retirement accounts, and any other sources of income or assets. If one spouse possesses significantly higher income or financial resources than the other, it may suggest a necessity for spousal maintenance to address the financial disparity.

2. Financial Needs And Obligations

Each spouse's financial needs and obligations, including living expenses, healthcare costs, childcare expenses, debt obligations, and any other financial responsibilities, are also considered. The Courts may grant spousal maintenance to guarantee that both spouses can fulfill their basic needs and uphold a standard of living akin to that established during the marriage.

3. Standard Of Living During The Marriage

Because the courts aim to preserve, as closely as feasible, the standard of living that the spouses experienced during the marriage, variables such as reduced income or financial dependency are factored in. The court may award spousal maintenance to bridge the gap and prevent one spouse from maintaining this standard of living independently.

4. Length Of Your Marriage

The length of the marriage significantly influences the determination of spousal maintenance necessity. Courts may be more inclined to award maintenance in longer marriages where one spouse has become financially dependent on the other over time.

5. Age And Health Of The Parties

Courts consider the age and health of each spouse when assessing the need for spousal maintenance. Factors such as disabilities, chronic illnesses, or advanced age may affect a spouse's ability to support themselves financially and may warrant the award of maintenance.

6. Education And Employment History

If one spouse has limited job skills or employment opportunities, spousal maintenance may be necessary to help them transition to financial independence. This is why the courts evaluate each spouse's education, skills, and employment history to determine their ability to become self-supporting.

7. Contributions To The Marriage

Courts consider both financial and non-financial contributions made by each spouse to the marriage. These may include homemaking, childcare, support of the other spouse's career or education, and any other contributions demonstrating the value each spouse brought to the marriage.

Pierce County courts assess spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis, making the guidance of a Lakewood attorney who can collect the relevant evidence needed for fair alimony even more important.

Our Lakewood Maintenance Attorneys Help You Overcome Common Alimony Challenges

Navigating the complexities of alimony cases can feel overwhelming, but you're not alone. One common challenge you may face is understanding how the amount of spousal support is determined. An experienced Lakewood alimony attorney can help you navigate factors such as the length of your marriage, your standard of living, and each spouse's financial situation, ensuring they present your case effectively to secure a fair outcome.

Another hurdle is the modification of alimony payments due to changes in financial circumstances. Legal expertise is vital in presenting a compelling case to the court whether you're seeking to adjust the amount you receive or pay. Moreover, enforcing alimony agreements can be stressful. Your attorney can take decisive steps to ensure compliance, alleviating the burden on you.

They will act as your advocate, offering personalized advice and robust representation. With their support, you can confidently overcome these challenges, ensuring your financial future is secure.

Do not navigate the complexities of your alimony case in Pierce County without expert assistance. Our team of skilled attorneys is here to stand by your side, ensuring your rights are fully protected. With a deep understanding of local laws and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients, we are your dedicated partners in this challenging time. Don't hesitate to reach out to our Lakewood attorneys today to schedule your initial consultation and start moving forward with confidence.

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