RCW 26.09.090 addresses maintenance orders for either spouse or either domestic partner—Factors by saying the following:
"(1) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership, legal separation, declaration of invalidity, or in a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage or domestic partnership by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse or absent domestic partner, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse or either domestic partner. The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including but not limited to:
(a) 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;
(b) 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;
(c) The standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership;
(d) The duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;
(e) The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance; and
(f) 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."
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You can ask but that doesn't really help. There are several things that are looked at in order to determine whether or not alimony will be paid. Here are but a few of them: How old are you? How long have you been married to the other party? What is your prior work experience? What is your education? What is your health like now? Do you have any job skills that would help you find work? While technically not an important issue, what is your gender? (I have seen two men receive alimony in my nearly 47 years of practice in Pierce County). Why do you not work? Have you ever worked? What job skills do you have? What are your other assets for distribution? (I know of cases where the person wanting alimony was inheriting close to a million dollars which was, of course, separate property. Courts take that into consideration when ruling about alimony as well).
There is a specific law dealing with this area so read the statute. Remember, the State Supreme Court has ruled that Alimony is to be paid for the shortest possible duration to make someone self-sufficient so you can see what you are dealing with in this area.
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