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Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

Q: How does the court determine whether alimony will be awarded in my divorce?
A: 1. State law provides that alimony, referred to as spousal maintenance, may be granted to either the husband or the wife.
2. The basic principle the court follows when setting the amount and duration of alimony is the need of one spouse verses the ability of the other spouse to pay.
3. There are two types of alimony:

  1. Rehabilitative: This is for a limited period of time and is to enable one of the spouses to get the education or training necessary to find a job. This is usually awarded where one of the parties has not been working during the marriage. In this situation, the general rule is for every 4 years of marriage, 1 year of alimony will be awarded. However, this is not a hard and fast rule.
  2. Permanent: This continues for a long period of time, possibly until the death of the party receiving the alimony. This is typically awarded if the marriage was very long and one spouse did not work or where one of the parties is unable to work due to a physical or mental illness.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Law Offices of Jason Benjamin
Located at 10655 NE 4th Street, Ste 208, Bellevue, WA 98004.
Phone: (425) 786-9279.
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