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Understanding Family Law

One of the questions that most spouses tend to find answers when divorcing is on spousal support. In most marriages, you will find one partner being financially stable than the other. It is common to find one spouse working in a high paying job while the other is taking care of the children back at home. In addition, one spouse can get wealth from their family or inherit it from a relative. It is a common thing to find the less earning spouse asking the court during a divorce case to order the higher earning spouse to pay the other monthly support. The essence of this article is to discuss whether one can waive their right to spousal support in Washington state.

Unlike in other states, in Washington, spouses are required to split the marital estate fairly between every partner. By marital property we mean assets that includes all income earned by a husband or wife during the marriage, all property acquired with a spouse’s income during the marriage, and any property acquired with joint or marital funds during the marriage.

A lower-earning spouse may request the judge to order the higher earning spouse to pay them spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony can be likened to child maintenance support payments, however, in this case, they are meant to a spouse and not a child. It is worth noting that the law also allows spouses to agree to give up their right to receive spousal maintenance payments.

One of the ways in which a spouse can waive their right to spousal support is by creating pre and post-nuptial agreements. The beauty about the pre-and post-nuptial agreements is that they clearly define the percentage of the wealth each spouse is entitled to in the event that the marriage should end. During divorce cases, the courts will allow a spouse to waive his or her right to support so long as the waiver is made knowingly, willingly, and without duress or intimidation. It is worth noting that both parties need to sign the waiver and must be made in writing. For the waiver to be valid, you also need to have a lawyer who will explain the agreement to the person signing up his or her rights, and the waiver should include a listing of each of the parties’ assets, debts, and income.

However, it is good to note that the agreement should be made by both parties. It is the duty of the court to ensure both parties agree to the terms; this is vital to avoid the cases where one spouse is left with noting while providing the needs of the others.

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