If you have gone through a divorce and were ordered to pay spousal maintenance, you may or may not have been given an end date for those payments. If the court order is open-ended, then it’s necessary to consider when it may be appropriate to request to end those payments for good.
Spousal maintenance, for the most part, is designed to help spouses who need extra income. They may need time to build up their careers or need extra money to continue living the lifestyle they enjoyed with their spouses.
For most people, spousal maintenance is limited. It is normally granted only for as long as the ex-spouse needs the support and may be ended for one of several reasons including getting remarried.
What are the factors involved in establishing spousal maintenance?
In Washington, the court looks at several factors to come up with a spousal maintenance order, including:
- The standard of living that you established during your marriage
- You and your spouse’s ages and financial obligations
- The time needed to get a sufficient education or the training needed to find employment
- The ability of one spouse to pay maintenance to the other
- The seeker’s financial resources
The length of your marriage is another important factor, too, and may play a role in the length of time that you have to pay support.
How can you end spousal maintenance sooner than the court order states?
There are a few times that you may ask to modify or end spousal maintenance. One would be if you know that your ex-spouse has gotten remarried. Normally, remarrying ends the paying spouse’s obligation, but you may still need to inform the court.
Another time you might ask to end or modify the order is if you lose your job or have serious health complications. In those cases, it would be reasonable to request changes.
There are many factors involved in cases like yours. You may want to speak with someone to learn more about your legal rights and to get to know the factors that play a role in setting up and ending spousal maintenance.