Awards of maintenance can be made from one spouse to the other. The word "alimony" is not used in Washington State. These awards are based on the need of one spouse and ability to pay of the other spouse. The dollar amount and duration of the maintenance depends on the facts of each individual case. Generally the longer the marriage the larger the potential for a greater duration of maintenance. Again, as the court considers what is fair many factors could be take into consideration. A few common examples are as follows. One spouse has spent a considerable amount of time as a homemaker and has not concentrated on a career. Maintenance could be awarded under these circumstances to help the non-working spouse get back on his or her feet by helping to pay bills and maybe attend school.
Custody in Washington State
We refer to parenting arrangements concerning the child as the Parenting Plan. This deals primarily with the issue of where the child will be at any particular time during the year.
Your parenting plan can be as specific as you would like. A very general parenting plan is generally not advisable in most cases as most people have a preference to know what their rights and responsibilities are in relation to the custody and visitation with the child (The judge may also not approve it if it is too vague). Some parents during and after divorce appear to get on so very well with regard to the children, that they have a strong preference for a flexible parenting plan. Such parents are the exception rather than the rule so do not feel bad if you do not fit into this category. Having a certain specificity in the parenting plan cuts down on communication between the parents which after a divorce can be painful for the parents.