Vancouver Spousal Support Attorneys
Washington State Alimony Laws
Alimony is money that one spouse is required to pay the other after a divorce. Generally, for every 3 to 4 years of marriage, the higher-earning spouse is required to pay the lower-earning spouse 1 year of alimony. There are a variety of factors that can determine the amount and duration of a spousal support order. If you have questions about alimony law in Washington or Oregon, call Beaty Hatch PC. Our alimony lawyers in Vancouver have been serving the legal needs of clients in the local area for more than 65 years combined.
How is Alimony Determined in WA?
The court will consider the value of the property and assets of each spouse after property division. While this is a community property state and marital property is generally divided equally, the circumstances of the spouses may be dramatically different based on separate property owned by one spouse, income, and other factors.
The factors courts consider when awarding alimony include:
- The age of each spouse
- The marital standard of living
- The health conditions of each spouse
- The ability of the paying spouse to make payments
- Time needed for education or retraining of one spouse
Misconduct of one spouse during the marriage is not considered when awarding alimony, even if the misconduct led to the breakdown of the marriage. For example, if one spouse abandoned the other or committed adultery, this will not have an impact on if, or how much, alimony is awarded to the other spouse. Since each situation is unique, we recommend that you discuss your situation with our alimony attorneys in Vancouver.
Can Alimony Be Modified in WA State?
Under certain conditions, alimony can be modified by the court. These conditions include:
- The decree of your divorce must have not ordered that alimony be “non-modifiable”
- There must have been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a loss of job, decrease in wage, or disabling illness
If both parties agree to modify the agreement, the process will go much smoother in court. If the parties disagree, a judge will determine the best course of action. Keep in mind, you will most likely need to file your modification request in the same county that you filed the original order.
Is Alimony Taxable in WA State?
Before January 1, 2019, spouses who paid alimony were able to include their payments as tax deductions. However, as of that date, the state of Washington has removed that benefit due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Since this new law can dramatically impact your finances, it is important to call our alimony attorney to discuss your options.
How Long Does Alimony Last in Washington?
When alimony is awarded, it is generally for a specific amount of time. There are many factors associated with this, as the amount and duration of maintenance are based on the parties’ unique circumstances, needs, and abilities with the court considering all of the factors per the statutory guidelines. For more information, contact Beaty Hatch PC today, our attorneys can review your situation to assess the potential duration of an alimony award by the court.
Please call our firm at (360) 566-6966 to learn how the law applies to your circumstances.
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