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Do you know the differences in spousal support types?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Family Law

Divorcing spouses encounter many issues that require resolution when going through the legal process. Of them, spousal support may prove one of the most divisive, and this may stall progress with reaching a final agreement.

Not all spousal support is the same. When negotiating the terms and conditions of a divorce, understanding the types of support may help parties reach a compromise. Gain some insight into spousal support in Washington and work through the issue with less complication.

Basic qualifications for spousal support

Under Washington law, spousal support requires one to demonstrate a need for the money, and the other spouse must have the ability to pay it. A typical scenario involves a spouse who has remained out of the workforce to raise children. The at-home partner may not have an immediate ability to earn money after a separation. As such, alimony would apply.

Short-term maintenance

In the above instance, a spouse who left the workforce may prove employable but may need time and money to seek and secure a position. A short-term spousal maintenance award may prove necessary and beneficial as it affords the non-working spouse cash while securing a job. A short-term order often contains a termination date; however, the spouse getting the support may extend it should a job not occur.

Long-term spousal support

A divorce between two older individuals who have remained married for a lengthy period may result in a long-term support award. This support may become permanent depending on the reasons behind it. Long-term spousal support may prove necessary if a spouse cannot work due to age or health.

Armed with some basic knowledge, a couple may negotiate and agree on reasonable spousal maintenance terms.