Pennsylvania Spousal Support Rules

Before a divorce is made final, spousal support orders may already be laid out. Spousal support is often accompanied by negotiations for alimony pendente lite (“while the action is pending”). However, alimony pendente lite is only temporary and made after the action for divorce is filed but prior to the declaration of the final divorce. Spousal support, on the other hand, is financial support paid to either party after the separation, but prior to the finalization of the divorce. In Pennsylvania, spousal support rules are treated differently.

Pennsylvania Spousal Support Rules

In Pennsylvania, the court may allow alimony in cases where the support is considered necessary, and only if it is reasonable after the divorce decree is made. Spousal support is generally paid to the party with the lower income or who has no source of income.

There are four types of alimony payments in Pennsylvania: permanent, rehabilitative, limited duration, and reimbursement. The court will determine which type of alimony to use by considering different factors, such as the income of both spouses, the duration of the marriage, inheritances, assets and liabilities, standard of living while the marriage was active, contributions of the spouse to the marriage or home, education or training, age, and physical, mental, and emotional condition. Under Pennsylvania spousal support rules, a spouse is not entitled to alimony after the divorce. If it is awarded, it is discretionary.  

How Much Can You Expect to Pay or Receive?

The amount of financial support that one party will be required to pay another party, under the law, will generally depend on the income of the paying party and the factors mentioned earlier that the court would consider reasonable. There are no set guidelines regarding formulas for calculations. When Pennsylvania courts decide on the amount that one party would be required to pay the other party, they will look at the different factors in the marriage to determine the type, manner, duration, and amount of the payments that the receiving party can expect.

Note that gender is not a factor in decisions regarding financial support. Any financial support is a means to provide for the needs of a spouse once the divorce is finalized. In no way is financial spousal support a way to punish a spouse and enrich the other.

Do You Need Legal Assistance?

Divorce can be a complicated process, with numerous factors and issues to consider. To ensure fairness and protection for both parties, it is critical that you enlist the help of a legal professional. Talk to a Pittsburgh divorce attorney who has the right background and experience to help you manage the process fairly and satisfactorily.