Randi J. Vladimer, P.C.

If you are filing for divorce here in Pennsylvania, one issue with which you may struggle is whether to seek spousal support from your ex. Formerly known as alimony, in our state, it is never a given whether it will be awarded.

The family law courts determine the need for both alimony pendente lite and permanent alimony based on many factors. They include:

  • Both spouses' ages and their physical, emotional and mental conditions
  • Their relative earnings and their earning capacities
  • Both parties' needs and their standard of living during their marriage
  • The sources of income for both spouses
  • How long they were married
  • Whether one spouse's earning capacity was diminished because of their homemaker contributions or their care of minor children
  • Whether either party committed marital misconduct
  • Which property, assets and liabilities both parties brought into the marriage

Marriages of particularly long duration and where one spouse stayed home to rear the children and keep up with the house are more likely for a spouse to qualify for permanent alimony than other shorter marriages where both spouses worked.

A far likelier result will be the awarding of alimony pendente lite. This is temporary support that one spouse pays to the other during the pendency of their divorce proceedings. It allows the lower-earning or non-earning spouse to be able to afford the costs associated with the divorce and also to maintain themselves until the divorce is finalized.

As alimony pendente lite is also not a given, your family law attorney will need to petition the court to award it to you based on your need.

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