Spousal Support or Spousal Maintenance

There is no formula to calculate spousal support or spousal maintenance. RCW 26.09.090, the statute on spousal maintenance, requires that maintenance be ordered “in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just”, without consideration of misconduct, after considering all the relevant factors, including but not limited to:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;
  2. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her skill, interests, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;
  3. The standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership;
  4. The duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;
  5. The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance; and
  6. The ability of the spouse or domestic partner from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance.

I can help you analyze the spousal maintenance issue in your case. The bottom line is that every family’s financial situation is unique. Your friend’s financial settlement, including the number of years and amount of spousal maintenance s/he received, should not be used as a comparison to your situation.