A Short Introduction to the Washington Alimony Calculator
What is a Washington alimony calculator?
Alimony calculators are used by individuals involved in divorce cases to estimate their alimony award based on variables related to their marriage and income. Calculators can only do this accurately in state which uses a formula to decide alimony payments, which unfortunately Washington does not do, making Washington alimony calculators rare and ineffective. The better method is to make your own Washington alimony calculator through analysis of your finances and state law.
What is a “rough estimate” Washington alimony calculator?
If we can’t find an actual alimony calculator for Washington state, you can still use a general alimony calculator which will help you narrow down the field of possible award amounts. Just follow along with the different steps:
1. Estimate the joint cost of the married standard of living for one year. Just add all the costs incurred by the couple over the year, include costs of rent, food, products and travel. Don’t use time during which the couple lived in separation, and don’t include any costs not for the couple, such as costs incurred for the sake of a minor child in their custody.
2. Find the individual cost of the married standard of living simply by dividing the above number in half. This isn’t entirely accurate, since the standard of living will certainly be lower—for instance, rent for two separate individuals will cost more than rent for one couple in cohabitation—but remember that this is only a rough estimate.
3. Now subtract from the above standard of living costs the income of the lower-income spouse. This alimony is designed to help this lower-income spouse continue to live at their married standard of living, so the amount arrived at here will be the cost to make that happen.
4. If you want the alimony in a monthly form, just divide the above number by 12.
What factors affect a Washington alimony calculator?
Of course, if it was that simple, there really would be Washington alimony calculators. In reality, state judges are ordered to look at a number of factors before generating their alimony award. To make your estimate as accurate as possible, take the figure arrived at above and look at it through the guise of the following factors. Does it seem fair?
• Whether or not the individual receiving alimony is able to find appropriate employment based on their age and physical and mental condition;
• Whether or not the individual paying alimony is able to meet their own financial obligations and retain their married standard of living despite the alimony payments;
• How long the marriage lasted, as only marriages of at least five years usually result in alimony awards;
• If additional education is needed from either party in order to qualify for appropriate employment; and
• The way that property was divided during the divorce and how child guardianship and support obligations were doled out.
If you’d like to know more about the above factors, read State Statute 26.09.090 here.