Spousal support in Pennsylvania means that by law, one spouse must pay the other spouse a set amount of money on a regular basis during or after their divorce. When establishing a divorce agreement, spouses may agree to the terms of the support. If the parties cannot agree on their own terms, the court may order a certain arrangement.
Not every spouse receives support after a divorce. Because spousal support aims to help one spouse remain financially stable after divorce, the court will look at many factors decide who is eligible and who should pay, including:
- Both spouses’ earnings and earning capacity
- Their ages and health
- Their sources of income such as inheritances, retirement, and insurance
- The duration of the marriage and the standard of living the spouses had established
- Each spouse’s education and whether one spouse contributed to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other
- How one spouse might be financially affected by having custody of the children
- The spouses’ property, assets, needs, and liabilities
- Any instances of abuse and other forms of bad behavior
- Tax ramifications of the alimony
- Whether once spouse cannot support himself or herself alone
Examining these factors help determine whether alimony is necessary, and if so, for how much and how long.
Types of Spousal Support in Pennsylvania
Spousal support in Pennsylvania may come in one of three forms:
- Spousal support: One spouse makes support payments after the parties separate but before they finalize the divorce. The court may order spousal support before the couple even files the initial divorce petition.
- Alimony pendente lite: The court makes a temporary support order after one spouse files for divorce but before the divorce is final.
- Alimony: The court makes a support order during or after entering the official divorce decree.
If spousal support is necessary, the court will decide which form is best depending on your individual situation.
The divorce process is fraught with complexities that can be overwhelming. Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC can provide you with the guidance necessary if you need to create a temporary or long-term supposal support agreement. Contact our lawyers today for help getting started.