Alimony / Spousal Maintenance

Snohomish County Family Lawyer

Calculating whether — and how much — spousal maintenance will be paid during and after divorce proceedings is an important part of the divorce process. In Washington, child support obligations are often considered when calculating spousal maintenance. Judges and lawyers often refer to spousal maintenance and child support together as "family support."

If you have questions about whether you will receive or have to pay spousal maintenance (or alimony, as it is sometimes still referred to), it is important to get early legal advice from a knowledgeable family law attorney. Contact our law firm at 866-690-0798 or 360-654-4925 to schedule an initial appointment with a spousal maintenance attorney.

The St. Clair Law Office ∙ Everett/Marysville, Washington

At the St. Clair Law Office, we provide straightforward and practical legal representation to spouses in divorce cases. Our small, professional law firm is not a "general practice" firm. Instead, we focus on family law — in the belief that we best serve our clients by concentrating our efforts on one area of law. Family court laws and regulations are complex and frequently change, and our limited focus allows us to offer confident and up-to-date advice.

Our law firm, located just north of Everett in Marysville, is led by veteran Washington attorney Patricia Jo Nelson. A seasoned trial lawyer who believes in the effectiveness of negotiation in divorce cases, Ms. Nelson began her legal practice in 1984. For the last 10 years, she has concentrated almost exclusively on family law matters.

Basic Information About Spousal Maintenance Calculations

Unlike child support calculations, spousal maintenance is not calculated according to strict guidelines in Washington. Under the law, family court judges have a significant amount of discretion when ordering the payment of spousal maintenance — with regard to the amount and duration — that is fair under the circumstances. The lack of firm directives for calculating spousal maintenance gives spouses who are divorcing great leeway to negotiate appropriate payments.

In general, spousal maintenance will be awarded if one spouse needs the financial assistance and if the other spouse can afford to pay. Factors to be addressed when considering an award of spousal maintenance include the length of the marriage, decisions regarding division of marital property, whether child support has been awarded, the relative education of the spouses, and each spouse's work history and employability.

At the St. Clair Law Office, we also help our clients understand the tax implications of spousal maintenance and child support payments. Special tax laws apply both to the person paying and the person receiving spousal maintenance.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation at the St. Clair Law Office

If you are considering divorce and have questions about spousal maintenance, we encourage you to seek early legal advice.

To make an appointment, call 866-690-0798 or 360-654-4925, or send us an e-mail for a prompt response.