Supporting Your Fair Treatment In Alimony And Spousal Support
Alimony and spousal support are among the most contentious issues when a marriage ends. Their purpose is to help one spouse avoid financial problems through the transition. However, spouses commonly disagree on the need for financial support or what the amount should be.
Our divorce lawyers at Anderson, Leech & Long provide guidance and representation through the process and help with managing these thorny disputes. They advocate for men and women on both sides of the issue.
Understanding Alimony And Spousal Support
The court will decide if alimony is merited. In Pennsylvania, there are three categories:
- Spousal support: Temporary financial support that one spouse receives from the other after the separation but before the divorce is filed. The court can consider several things, including abuse and adultery, when deciding if it is appropriate.
- Alimony pendente lite (APL): Temporary support while the divorce is pending. It allows the spouse to maintain their lifestyle during the process. It will end when the divorce is finalized. The court will not automatically grant APL, and it is not a punishment for either spouse. It will be based on the applicant’s expenses, needs and ability to support themselves. The other spouse’s ability to pay will also be considered.
- Alimony: This is ongoing support after the marriage is dissolved. Neither party is automatically entitled to alimony. The court will determine financial need, and it will make the decision on what the amount will be, how long the alimony will be needed and how it must be paid.
How Is Alimony Determined?
Courts take a number of factors into consideration when deciding on alimony cases, including:
- The ages and health of the spouses
- The assets and sources of income of each spouse
- Contributions to the education, training or increased earning potential of the other spouse
- Earning capacity, including weakened earning power due to caring for minor children or serving as a homemaker
- Education and the amount of time it would take to get the education or training needed to find employment
- Length of the marriage
- The accustomed standard of living during the marriage
- Marital misconduct (extramarital affairs, gambling addictions)
- The mental, physical and emotional condition of each person
- Property brought into the marriage
Assistance Through Complex Alimony And Spousal Support Issues
If you have questions about alimony or spousal support, reach out to our experienced family law attorneys at Anderson, Leech & Long in our Pittsburgh office. Contact us online or call us at 412-347-4309 if you have concerns anywhere in Pennsylvania.