Maintenance. What is it and who gets it?

What is spousal maintenance? The newer, hipper name for alimony. The court recognizes that when you’re married, finances are often one big joint affair, and then when you’re separated, one person may lose all access to that joint account. The point of spousal maintenance is to put one spouse in the same position he/she was in before the dissolution began. If one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, then the lesser-earning spouse is likely a candidate for maintenance.

Yours, mine, and ours… the 411 on Community Property

When you’re married, you share everything. Or, some people do. Regardless of what you choose to do as a married couple, when you’re divorcing in Washington State, you are going to share everything.

Washington is a community property state, which means any property you acquire during your marriage is community, and thus both parts of the community (spouse and spouse) are entitled to half of it. So those beautiful candlesticks you got as a wedding gift? Community. Anything you had prior to getting married is considered your separate property. That bookcase you’ve had since college? All yours.

Protection Orders

Everyone’s heard of a restraining order. It seems as though you can’t make it through an episode of Law & Order without reference to one.  But restraining orders are a very specific type of order that can only be obtained if there is already a pending court case. Oftentimes what people actually need is some kind of civil protection order. There are four types of civil protection orders: domestic violence, anti-harassment, adult vulnerable, and sexual assault.

So how do I know which one is right for me?

You need a divorce… but where to start?

You’re splitting up. It happens – sometimes marriages are just no longer workable. It’s an emotional, stressful, and trying time and it’s hard to wrap your head around everything you need to do. Navigating the judicial system when you’re at your best can be difficult, never mind trying to do it when in the throes of ending your marriage.

So this post is here for all of you out there who just want a breakdown of what to do first.


Welcome to “Saying I Don’t,” the legal blog from the Law Offices of Susan Carroll.

This blog is intended to be helpful to clients, non-clients, potential clients, and all those out there who just want to gain a bit more knowledge about family law. We will post recent news articles related to family law, write posts about important family law issues, and just generally try and keep you all informed. Please feel free to comment and ask questions, and we’ll do our best to respond.