Spousal Support – Alimony – A.P.L.
You may be entitled to, or liable to pay, support. I can assist you in the divorce process with the various types of spousal maintenance including:
This is the financial support that can be provided to a spouse if there is a separation whether or not a divorce is pending.
Alimony pendente lite (APL):
This is the temporary alimony that is available only if a divorce proceeding is pending (alimony pending litigation).
Alimony is actually the financial support for a spouse that commences once the divorce is finalized.
The dependent spouse may also be awarded legal fees. In other words, the spouse making more money may have to pay some or all of the legal fees of the dependent spouse. Often the award of legal fees is made at the beginning of the case so that the dependent spouse can afford a lawyer and can be awarded at any support hearing.
I will analyzes income tax returns, health insurance premiums, child care costs, as well mortgage obligations, all to ensure that clients receive what they are entitled to receive or ensure that clients do not pay more than they should.
One legal factor in determining support, APL or alimony is “financial entitlement”, which is based on the parties’ income and earning capacity. The other factor is “legal entitlement”, which is related to marital misconduct, such as adultery, desertion, incarceration, cruelty, and indignities which can be used as a defense to the payment of support.
In Pennsylvania there are 17 factors that are considered when deciding if alimony should be awarded and how much.
- The relative earnings and earning capabilities of both parties
- The physical, mental, and emotional condition of the parties
- The sources of income of both parties, including but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance,o rother benefits
- The expectancies and inheritances of the parties
- The duration or length of the marriage
- The contribution by one party to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other party
- The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
- The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment
- The relative assets and liabilities of the parties
- The property brought to the marriage by either party
- The contributions of a spouse as homemaker
- The relative needs of the parties
- The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct from either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party.
- The federal, state, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award
- Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property to provide for the other party’s reasonable needs
- Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment
The duration of the alimony will be determined by the courts. In Pennsylvania, rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to allow a person a specific amount of time to “rehabilitate” themselves.
The settlement could be money for a party to go back to school or get back into the work force.
Permanent alimony may be awarded for the rest of a person’s life. Reimbursement alimony may be awarded to a spouse to compensate them for expenses they may have taken responsibility for while the other obtained an education. With the exception of reimbursement alimony, most alimony is terminated when the spouse who receives the alimony moves in with another person in a marriage-like situation, remarries, or dies.
Even after a divorce is finalized, alimony may be modifiable. I continue to represent my clients as their families and their needs change and modification of agreements and orders becomes necessary because of change in income or any financial circumstances.