Washington Divorce FAQ’s – Alimony

This is about alimony after divorce in Washington, including when courts order alimony, how the amount of alimony is set in Washington, and how and when Washington courts stop alimony once it’s awarded.

This information is from Jennifer C. Rydberg, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Washington.

When does alimony get paid?

Spousal maintenance is used to equalize the incomes of the parties, or to compensate one spouse for an economic differential in the marriage. It is more commonly seen in long term marriages, and in short and mid-term marriages when one spouses’ earnings have been interrupted by choices made during the marriage, such as to have children, or to work part-time or not at all.

How does the court decide how much?

There is no set amount. The determination is done on a case-by-case basis, and is discretionary.

What does it take to change alimony?

A showing of a substantial change of circumstances that could not have been contemplated when the original order providing for spousal maintenance was entered.

When does alimony stop?

Spousal maintenance stops when the court order says it stops. Unless the court order specifically states otherwise, spousal maintenance stops when either spouse dies, or when the receiving spouse remarries, whichever occurs first.

Other issues in Washington: