If my husband and I are divorcing after 23 years of marriage and cannot agree on length of support, how many years is reasonable?

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If my husband and I are divorcing after 23 years of marriage and cannot agree on length of support, how many years is reasonable?

He is retired military and currently working for the federal government. I was a stay home mom through most of the marriage and only worked part-time. We are trying to use a mediator but cannot come to agreement to length and amount of support. We are divorcing because I found out he has been cheating on me for the last 5 years. We live in a no-fault state.

Asked on April 24, 2012 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

Kenneth Berger / Kenneth A. Berger, Attorney at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In Washington, the general rule of thumb is that if maintence (aka spousal support) is justified the starting point is about 1 year of maintence for every 4 years of marriage.  Of course there are so many other factors, like:  how much maintenance if needed; why is maintenance needed; how large is the marital estate; what are the current and projected incomes of the parties...

Cheating and fault are typically not a consideration.  Good Luck.

As always, my comments are only applicable to Washington State and are not a substitute for getting competent, local, and more comprehensive, legal help.

 

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is my understanding that there is very little codofoed law in the state of Washington regarding the awarding of spousal support. The court - or a judge - has a lot of leeway to consdier the factors of the case and to award support.  The length of time of the marriage, the fact that you put your career on hold - these facts count.  If you can not agree then a court should decide.  You are a community property state - important - and he has a military pension - important.  Make sure you get advice from ana ttorney familiar with military pensions.  Good luck.


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