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How can spousal support impact your divorce settlement?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Divorce

Spousal support payments can help divorced people maintain a standard of living and attain financial stability. Judges award spousal support based on several factors, including wealth, income and the length of the marriage.

Spousal support can significantly impact your financial situation after divorce. If you are going through a divorce in Washington state, you should understand how spousal support works.

Factors in awarding spousal support

If you seek spousal support, you must present a case showing you require maintenance. Courts strive to balance the needs of the spouse requesting support with the other party’s capacity to make payments. Wealth, income and earning potential can influence spousal support determinations.

If you are divorcing after a short marriage of fewer than five years, there might be temporary payments to help the less wealthy spouse transition to their new income level. On the other hand, divorces after long marriages can result in significant spousal support that lasts many years. In many cases, spousal support payments occur for a duration of approximately 20%-30% of the length of the marriage.

The impact of spousal support

Spousal support can enable divorced people to find new housing and seek employment opportunities. Payments can be helpful for people who focused on family obligations during marriage. For example, if you were a stay-at-home parent, you can seek spousal support to help you as you re-enter the workforce and pursue financial independence. Courts generally expect adults who are able to work to seek employment after divorce, and spousal support is often temporary. Furthermore, courts consider asset division and child support payments when making spousal support decisions.

Divorce brings many transformations, including changes to your finances and lifestyle. Therefore, you should consider the effects of spousal support as you seek divorce.