What constitutes eligibility for alimony in Washington? 1 Answers as of April 01, 2011

How does a person become eligible for alimony? I have been married to my husband for 7 years in Seattle. I want to know if i qualify for alimony, as my husband has been abusive the entire marriage. We do not have children.

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Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
Fault is not an issue in an award of alimony, called maintenance, in Washington, unless the abuse caused you to be unable to work. There is no formula for maintenance. It is a flexibile tool, used at the discretion of the court, to help support you if appropriate. If appropriate depends on many factors the most of important of which are probably your need and your husband's ability to pay, your respective financial earning capacities and financial futures, and what property if any each of you are taking from the divorce and who's responsible for how much debt if any. Finally length of marriage matters. Your marriage is not particularly long. Unless your husband is very rich, and you have a very weak financial future, I would not expect maintenance for real long, but probably during the temporary order period at least and perhaps longer particularly if you have a plan to get back on your feet economically. However, I know very little facts about your case and it is impossible without more information to give you a reasonable prediction. You need to file, seek temporary maintenance, and then argue for longer maintenance to settle your case or at trial. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/1/2011
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