Talk to a Spousal Support Attorney About Your Options

Often, spousal support involves one spouse earning more than the other spouse in many separation and divorce matters. That results in the spouse with less income relying upon the financial support of the other spouse. In Pennsylvania, the economically disadvantaged spouse can collect formal, court-enforced spousal support. In any case, contact a spousal support attorney near you to protect what you deserve.

What are the three types of support?

Support paid from one spouse to another covers three categories: spousal support, alimony pendente lite ("APL" for short), and alimony. Those categories determine when each support gets paid and how the support gets calculated.

Spousal Support

You can file a complaint about spousal support even if there is no pending divorce case. In some circumstances, the parties elect to separate their households but not move forward with a divorce matter for various reasons, including a desire to repair the marriage.

What sets spousal support apart from alimony pendente lite is that a spousal support claim may be challenged by the other spouse if there is proof of fault, such as marital misconduct. A spousal support attorney can help.

Alimony Pendente Lite

Alimony pendente lite ("APL") is essentially the same as spousal support, except that it is available after filing a divorce complaint. Challenging alimony pendente lite differs from how you challenge spousal support. In either scenario, you'll want to work with a spousal support attorney. But if there are concerns about a parties' entitlement to spousal support, a divorce complaint is typically filed with a request for APL.

The Pennsylvania Rules provide us with the formula to calculate spousal Support and APL. Both types of support terminate upon the issuance of a divorce decree, but courts may grant post-divorce financial support in the form of alimony.

Alimony

Some spouses may receive financial support in post-divorce alimony. Pennsylvania rules provide a calculation for spousal support and alimony pendente lite. However, Pennsylvania statutes and the court's analysis of factors determine alimony, as presented below.

Alimony can be modifiable or not modifiable -- a spousal support attorney can clarify the difference. It is essential for those seeking alimony to keep in mind that alimony does not seek to equalize parties' incomes or be punitive. Instead, alimony addresses the reasonable needs of the person who cannot become self-supportive through appropriate employment.

Talk to Your Spousal Support Attorney About Alimony Factors in Pennsylvania

When determining alimony, the court will consider these factors. Make sure you prepare in advance by talking with your spousal support attorney.

  1. The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.
  2. The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.
  3. The sources of income of both parties include medical, retirement, insurance, or other benefits.
  4. The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.
  5. The duration of the marriage.
  6. The contribution made by one party to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other party.
  7. The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a party will be affected by serving as the custodian of a minor child.
  8. The standard of living the parties established during the marriage.
  9. The relative education of the parties and the necessary time to acquire sufficient education. Or the training required to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.
  10. The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.
  11. The property either party brings to the marriage.
  12. The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker.
  13. The relative needs of the parties.
  14. The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage.
  15. The Federal, State, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.
  16. Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs.
  17. Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.

Consult with a Spousal Support Attorney Today

There are many nuances to support calculations. That's especially true if you or the other party have unusual or fluctuating sources of income or a nonconventional custody arrangement.

Talk to a spousal support attorney in our Doylestown and Norristown law offices. First, they'll evaluate the facts of your case (including both parties' incomes). Then, they'll determine whether you will have exposure to pay support or whether you are likely to receive support. So, call our law offices today.

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