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What factors may be considered when awarding spousal support?

Going through a divorce raises all sorts of financial questions. Property and assets must be divided fairly and in some circumstances a parent may need to pay child support. In addition, in some Gig Harbor divorces, one spouse may need to pay spousal support, also known as alimony, to the other spouse.

Spousal support is usually established in order to mitigate any unfair financial consequences that may follow when a couple's marriage comes to an end. It is a way for the spouse who perhaps did not work during the course of the marriage or who earns less than the other spouse to receive the financial help he or she needs until he or she can become financially self-sufficient.

In many states, there are statutory factors that are taken into consideration when a court issues a spousal support order. Washington is one such state. For example, per the Revised Code of Washington section 26.09.090, the court may consider each spouse's financial resources, including what the spouse was awarded during the property division process and the extent to which each spouse is able to independently meet his or her needs. In addition, the court may consider how much time it will take the receiving spouse to obtain the necessary training or education to become financially self-sufficient.

The standard of living the couple enjoyed while married may also be considered, as may the length of the marriage. In addition, each spouse's age and health may be considered. Finally the ability of the paying spouse to meet his or her monetary needs and obligations may be considered.

Determining an appropriate amount of spousal support can be a complicated process. It is important that such awards are fair and appropriate. Since this post cannot guarantee any specific result when it comes to determining spousal support, spouses with further questions about spousal support in Washington may want to work with a family law attorney who can provide legal advice.

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