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Factors to consider in Washington spousal support cases

When a marriage comes to an end, each spouse is faced with the prospect of having to support him or herself financially. For some, this means going from a two-income household to a one-income household. However, what happens if there is a large income disparity between the two spouses? Or what if one spouse had stayed out of the workforce during the marriage and now needs to find a job?

Depending on the circumstances, when a couple in Washington goes through a divorce, one spouse may end up paying spousal support -- also known as alimony. What are some factors the court may consider when determining whether to award spousal support?

Per Washington statutes, one factor that may be considered is the financial resources of each spouse. This includes what each spouse walks away with after the property division process is complete, the spouse's ability to support him or herself financially and independently and whether a spouse is providing for a child post-divorce.

What happens in situations in which a spouse needs to find a job after a divorce? In these situations, the court may consider how long it will take the spouse to obtain a sufficient education that will allow him or her to find an appropriate job.

The standard of living each spouse enjoyed while married may also be considered, as may the length of the marriage. In addition, each spouse's age, health (physical and emotional) and financial responsibilities may be considered. Finally, the ability of the paying spouse to support him or herself while making spousal support payments may also be considered.

A Washington family law attorney may be a good source of advice for spouses who want to learn more about the laws regarding spousal support in Washington.

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