Many Pennsylvania spouses will expect to receive alimony payments in the wake of their divorces, especially if they're stay-at-home moms or dads and they earn dramatically less income than their spouses. However, a judge might disagree.
There is a trend across the country that involves courts revisiting their spousal maintenance or alimony laws. States are putting more limitations on the amount and length of alimony payments. In a lot of situations, the alimony gets denied completely -- even in cases where the less-moneyed spouse hasn't had a job in decades.
Part of this relates to the way women are being seen increasingly as equal-capacity earners compared to men. As a result, judges feel that women are capable of earning just as much as their spouses if they're willing to look for a job.
You might point out that men can also receive alimony and this shouldn't have anything to do with women, but the fact remains that women make up the vast majority -- 97 percent according to statistics from 2010 -- of people who receive alimony. However, these days, 40 percent of households have a female who earns the most. When the judge making the decision is a single mom, who put her children into day care so that she could work her way up to the level of judge as a lawyer, you can see how this judge might not have as much sympathy for a stay-at-home mom.
At the end of the day, stay-at-home moms and dads can still get alimony in many cases. As such, if you think you might need to pay alimony, or if you think you could receive it, be sure to investigate your legal rights and options as thoroughly as possible.
Source: Forbes, "Stay-at-Home Mom Facing Divorce? Don't Expect Alimony," Emma Johnson, accessed Dec. 06, 2017