Pennsylvania Laws Regarding Spousal Support
Alimony in Pennsylvania can only be received after the divorce decree has been finalized and all issues regarding property division, or equitable distribution, are resolved as well. Our blog today focuses on alimony in Pennsylvania and when a spouse might be entitled to alimony after a divorce.
Pennsylvania courts will consider the parties’ incomes and the assets that each were awarded in their divorce to assess the need for an alimony order. Additionally, parties are able to agree upon alimony voluntarily outside of court as part of their marriage settlement agreement or can draft a separate alimony agreement. An alimony award should be placed into a final Order of Court and filed with the county where the divorce took place so that it can be enforced by that court if any future issues arise regarding payment of alimony.
Generally, alimony is only awarded in situations where the party requesting it is unable to meet their own reasonable financial needs, and the other party is able to meet their own reasonable needs while assisting the financially dependent spouse. Courts in Pennsylvania will consider seventeen factors when determining if alimony is proper in any given case. Some of the factors frequently considered are as follows:
- The earning capacities of the parties.
- The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.
- The sources of income of both parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
- The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.
- The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.
- The relative needs of the parties.
- The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage.
- The federal, state and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.
Courts also must consider the duration of an alimony award, and Pennsylvania law states that alimony can be awarded for a definite or indefinite period of time, whatever is reasonable given the circumstances in each individual case.
Have questions regarding alimony? Want to know if you would be a candidate for alimony in your divorce matter? Contact our attorneys and set up a consultation today.