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Spousal Support and Alimony
When facing a divorce, questions about your financial future are inevitable and can be a large source of concern. We can help answer your questions about your financial situation, both now and in the future.
In Pennsylvania, there are three types of support associated with divorce: spousal support, alimony pendente lite (APL), and alimony.
• Spousal support is the term used when one party requests support while the couple is separated, but a divorce action has not necessarily been filed. It is possible to defend against a petition for spousal support. The appropriate amount of spousal support is determined by statutory guidelines.
• Alimony pendente lite (APL) is a payment made to the lesser earning spouse while divorce litigation is ongoing. APL may continue until all divorce issues are resolved and is intended to provide support to the lesser earning spouse so each spouse can maintain living expenses and finance litigation. There are few, if any, defenses available against a petition for APL. Like alimony, the appropriate amount is determined by a needs based analysis.
• Alimony is a payment made to support a former spouse after the divorce and any pending issues have been finalized. The amount of alimony is not determined by the statutory guidelines and entails a needs based analysis. To determine your needs, you will need to prepare a budget. The budget is an important tool for financial planning and supporting the need for alimony.
It is important to understand that alimony in Pennsylvania is a secondary remedy. The court will first equitably divide the marital assets, then assess whether such division has sufficiently provided the dependent spouse with the ability to support him/herself. If the court determines alimony is appropriate, the court will then consider a list of statutory factors to determine the amount and duration.
Tax consequences are an important aspect of support. We will help you consider tax consequences and other issues so that you have a complete picture and can make well-informed decisions about what will put you in the best financial position possible.
Contact Elizabeth Bennett today to learn more about how I can help you deal with these issues effectively during your divorce matter.
I conveniently represent clients in the Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties, the towns of Wayne, Radnor, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Paoli, Devon, Berwyn, Newtown Square, Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Ardmore, Lower Merion, Media, Wallingford, and Swarthmore, and throughout Pennsylvania.
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