There is no formula in Washington State to determine spousal maintenance (alimony). While there is a worksheet in Washington State for determining a presumed amount of child support, that worksheet has limitations and a different amount of child support (referred to as a “deviation”) is common. The purpose of all support is to ensure that both households have fund to pay their bills and that future burdens related to the divorce or children are not unfairly distributed. When considering spousal maintenance, the need of the recipient and the ability of the payor to pay are important considerations, including the need to maintain an appropriate standard of living and what is necessary so both spouses can become financially independent if they are not so already. There is no formula as to either duration, amount, or structure. For child support the first step is often to prepare a child support worksheet, but that’s only the first step. After the worksheet is prepared, then you use that and other information to determine what child support might work to ensure that both parents are adequately supporting the children considering the totality of all circumstances. In mediation, we look closely at factors such as the incomes and expenses in each household, the goals of the parents, future income expectations, special needs of the children, and similar factors to arrive in the Goldilocks zone.