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Spousal Support & Alimony

A marriage is a binding agreement in which the undersigned agree to share their lives and what used to be personal possessions with each other until such a time as that contract becomes null and void. When that time does occur, and a divorce is inevitable, there are two main ways to proceed. Both parties can be civil to each other and agree on the separation of assets among themselves. Have their mutual agreements included in the separation paperwork, they both sign and go on to live their now separate lives. Unfortunately, such a scenario does not play out too often.

In most cases, spouses disagree and bicker over all the possessions they used to share. If a married couple has money and assets such as property, an attorney who has experience with complex property distribution should be consulted. In the state of Washington, all property acquired after the signing of marriage documentation is considered community property. That would be the case even if only one of the spouses was involved in purchasing that property. There are some exceptions; such as inheritances, certain gifts and compensation received in personal injury lawsuits where the individual who actually earned it, retains ownership and rights to those assets, and they are not obligated to share them or their proceeds with the spouse. A complex property distribution attorney, Ann Farnsworth can help navigate these rules and exceptions in cases of legal separation and divorce.

If one of the spouses earns significantly more money than the other, the lower earning spouse may be awarded spousal maintenance or alimony to allow them to maintain the standard of living they have been enjoying. A spousal support attorney should be hired in such cases. Alimony payments are determined based on what amount of money will allow the former spouse to continue living at the standard of living they are accustomed to. The amount of such payments may be a cause of much dispute and many times requires an attorney to help them settle on a fair and a reasonable amount.