Every marriage in Pennsylvania is different. Couples earn various amounts of income, have different types of property and assets, some may have children and others do not. Also, marriages last varying lengths of time and many end in divorce. As marriages are all unique, divorces are unique as well. The issues couples will need to resolve as they separate their lives are similar, how they are resolved depends on the circumstances of the marriage.

One of the issues that can be very fact-specific to the circumstances of the marriage is alimony. These are payments that are made from one spouse to the other to help assist the spouse in transitioning to single life. Often times alimony is ordered in situations when one spouse earns either all or most of the income for the family and it will take time for the other spouse to begin earning enough to support themselves.

Factors used to determine alimony

To determine the amount that will be paid each month and the duration of the payments there are a number of factors to analyze. These include, but are not limited to,

  • how much each spouse earns in relation to the other;
  • ages of each spouse, their health and how that affects their ability to earn income;
  • how long the marriage lasted;
  • a spouses ability to earn an income due to having custody of the children;
  • the standard of living the spouses enjoyed during the marriage and the needs of each spouse;
  • the assets the parties are receiving in the property division; and
  • other relevant factors

During marriages in Pennsylvania some couples will both work and earn similar incomes. However, there are many other marriages when one spouse earns significantly more than the other spouse. This can put the spouse who didn’t work in a very difficult position after the divorce. In these situations, the spouse who earned more may need to pay alimony. It can be a complicated process and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.