A lot of factors can influence family courts to order alimony or spousal support in Gig Harbor.  The length of your marriage impacts whether alimony is awarded, the amount of support that must be paid, and the payment duration. If you believe a divorce can significantly affect your financial situation, seek legal advice to learn your options. 

Alimony Based on the Length of Marriage

Spouse in Gig Harbor should support each other financially before the finality of their divorce. Because of this, temporary alimony may be ordered by family courts. This alimony should be paid until the issuance of a final divorce decree. This can last for many months. A spouse who earns less than the other can request alimony if their spouse can pay. However, the court will decide whether to grant or deny this request. 

Alimony for Short-Term Marriages

Spouses in marriages that last less than five years may not get spousal support. In general, family courts put spouses back in financial positions before marriage. Thus, spouses whose marriage did not last for a long time could deal with less complexities in terms of securing their portion of shared assets. That said, short-term marriages could result in an alimony award if a spouse can’t work or has made considerable sacrifices during their marriage, like quitting their job to take care of the kids. 

Alimony for Marriages that Last Up to 20 Years

Alimony is more difficult to anticipate for spouses who split after two decades. Although alimony is common in such cases, the amount of support can differ according to the circumstances and the family judge that handles the case. In general, family judges award one year of spousal maintenance for every 3-4 years of marriage. 

Alimony for Marriages that Last More than 25 Years

For divorces that happen after 25 years of marriage, judges want to ensure both parties are in equal financial positions forever. Generally, the law considers spouses in these marriages as equal partners. In these cases, alimony may be necessary to increase the income of the lower-earning spouse until retirement age. 

Alimony is Only Temporary

Family courts in Gig Harbor assume that both parties in a divorce will earn a living and meet their financial obligations following their separation. The spouse who seeks alimony should prove the future goals and financial need behind their request. If this spouse plans to go to school, they should start applying for programs that help them earn a steady income while the divorce has yet to be finalized.