We are Everett-based spousal maintenance (alimony) attorneys. Spousal maintenance is Washington’s term for alimony, or payments which one ex-spouse makes towards the support of the other ex-spouse on a period basis during or after a divorce. For example, an ex-husband might be required to pay his ex-wife $2,000 per month during the divorce proceeding, $1,000 per month for a year after the divorce, and then $500 per month for a final year.
Spousal maintenance payments vary widely from one case to the next, and this is an area where a skilled attorney can have a considerably favorable impact on the outcome of his or her client’s case. Washington law gives judges and family law commissioners extensive discretion in determining spousal maintenance awards, meaning effective representation alters the outcome more dramatically than in most other legal matters.
At Genesis Law Firm, our divorce and family law attorneys have much more than a mere understanding of codified maintenance law. We also understand the competing theoretical and social underpinnings of the law, which appears to be rare even among legal professionals who regularly practice in this subject area. As a result, we are often the only side in a divorce that argues how the facts of the case relate to the purpose of the law and broad public policy concerns. We also tend to be the side that presents more probative contextual details of our clients’ real-life stories, which helps decision-makers side with our clients emotionally. Emotionally compelling arguments grounded in social policy are highly compelling.
In addition to the advantages of our presentation style, our divorce and family law attorneys generally enjoy stronger credentials and charge lower hourly rates than our competition.
To learn more about our firm’s style of practice, we encourage you to read our “about us” page here. We also encourage you to contact us directly to schedule a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers, conveniently located a few blocks from Snohomish County’s Superior Courthouse.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Spousal Maintenance (Alimony):
Do All Divorces Result in Maintenance? No, there often is no maintenance award if the marriage was relatively short and/or the parties make relatively equal incomes. Similarly, the longer the marriage and the greater the disparity in the spouse’s incomes, the larger the maintenance award.
Is It Always the Husband Who Pays Maintenance? No, a wife can be ordered to pay maintenance if she happens to be the higher earning spouse. The law is supposed to be gender blind in its maintenance awards.
Does Maintenance Always End After a Few Years or Does It Sometime Go On for Life? Lifetime maintenance awards are rare but do exist. Lifetime awards tend to occur after very long marriages and where the recipients’ physical or mental conditions will forever prevent them from working.
Is Child Support a Part of Spousal Maintenance, Or Is Child Support In Addition to Maintenance? Child support is not usually a part of spousal maintenance, but the two can be combined. When combined, maintenance and child support are called undifferentiated family support.
What if I Lose My Job After a Maintenance Award? Unless specifically stated otherwise, maintenance awards can be modified upon a substantial change in either party’s income. A payor who loses his or her job can request that maintenance be reduced or eliminated, and a payee who loses her job can request increased maintenance. Of note, if the job loss is only temporary, it may not be financially worthwhile to spend attorney fees on a maintenance modification.
Can Maintenance Be Non-Modifiable? Yes, maintenance becomes non-modifiable if the maintenance order specifically says so.