Divorce Issues: Alimony

What is alimony?

Alimony is another term for spousal support.  It is awarded by the court to the non-wage-earning or lower-wage earning spouse to avoid unfair economic consequences of divorce.  Nowadays, the court may order the wife to give alimony to the husband. 

Why is alimony awarded?

The purpose of alimony is for the spouse to continue with the standard of living that he/she became accustomed to during the marriage.  However, in all likelihood, alimony will not be considered if it was a short marriage or it only lasted under 2-3 years; or if both spouses are employed and are self-sufficient.

How does the court determine alimony?

The following factors are considered when determining alimony:

Until when can the other spouse receive alimony?

Alimony is said to be “rehabilitative,” meaning it is not awarded permanently.  One receives alimony only until it is no longer necessary.  It is meant to be given to equalize the standard of living of both spouses while the other is studying or learning to be self-sufficient.

Alimony ends when the other spouse remarries or dies. Again, your case may be unique and exceptions do apply. You may consult a Washington divorce lawyer about your particular situation.

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