Talk show host Wendy Williams has been in the news lately after filing for divorce from her husband, Kevin Hunter, after 22 years of marriage. According to multiple reports, Hudson apparently was seeing another woman and the two of them had a child born in 2019. Hunter recently responded to Williams’ divorce petition, reportedly requesting spousal support to help him get back on his feet after the divorce, as well as child support to cover college expenses for the couple’s 18-year-old son.
When one spouse is a higher-earner than the other, the lesser-earning spouse may seek spousal support or maintenance to provide them with financial assistance following the divorce. In the state of Washington, the court will determine how much to award in spousal maintenance based on various factors including the age, financial obligations, and health of the spouse seeking support, and the standard of living established during the parties’ marriage.
Generally, with shorter marriages lasting less than three to five years the court will only award the lesser-earning spouse enough to help them maintain their basic needs for a few months. The expectation is that this support will allow the receiving spouse to transition from married to single, which may be easier than those who have been in long-term marriages. These longer marriages may result in more significant amounts of spousal support that may last for many years, if not permanently.
It is important to note that courts will only award spousal support if there is a need for it. The purpose of spousal support is not to punish a higher-earning spouse, but rather to support a lesser-earning spouse. Your divorce attorney can review your case to determine how to best protect your finances during the divorce process.