Divorce is expensive. Although the divorce rate has decreased in the United States, the median price tag is still $7,000 and the average cost $15-$20,000, not including more money if the divorce is contested or high asset, which can go for months or years.
For Pennsylvania residents who may have indefinite, extended alimony payments, they should determine how the courts treat their unique situation and the conditions for limiting or ending spousal support. For residents of State College and throughout Centre County, it is important to have legal advocacy to fight for what is fair while protecting your assets.
What does alimony look like in Pennsylvania?
In a divorce, the courts count the finances of both spouses to determine dividing marital assets and spousal support. Alimony is granted when there is a difference in wealth between two divorcing spouses. That arrangement is rarely permanent.
Pennsylvania divorce laws allow for support before and after the divorce. Alimony pendente lite is temporary support that a judge will grant after a divorce filing but before the divorce is final to help a dependent spouse with living expenses or the divorce fees. The term for post-divorce support is alimony, and will continue until the recipient is self-supporting.
How do courts decide on alimony, and how long will it last?
After viewing both spouse’s finances, a judge decides on how much support the dependent spouse needs after the divorce. For post-divorce alimony; however, state law determines the type of support, amount and duration of alimony, including:
- Length of marriage and age as well as physical or mental condition of each spouse.
- Marital standard of living.
- Each spouse’s income and earning capacity.
- Noneconomic contributions of the spouses during the marriage and earning capacity of the custodial parent.
- Time needed for recipient to receive education or training necessary to get a job.
Alimony is usually temporary since it is assumed that both spouses will eventually be self-supporting. Short-term alimony usually will end when the spouse gets a degree or gets a job. If there is no end date, the alimony provider may request a date. Alimony ends automatically upon death, if the recipient remarries, or if the supported spouse enters into another relationship.