Determining Spousal Support In Pennsylvania
In connection with divorce, monetary support may be ordered by the court if one party will not have sufficient income or assets to support him or her after the divorce becomes final.
Avallone Law Associates has handled numerous child and spousal support matters and can effectively explain the process to clients on either side of the issue.
Different Types of Support
There are three types of support that are awarded at different stages of the divorce process. Spousal support may be awarded prior to the filing of a divorce petition. It is paid for a period of time to maintain the parties’ living expenses in anticipation of divorce.
Another form of spousal support is called alimony pendente lite (alimony pending litigation). Though similar to spousal support, alimony pendente lite is paid after the filing of a divorce petition. The amount awarded is based on the difference in monthly income between the parties, after considering taxes and other support obligations.
Alimony is awarded after the entry of the final divorce decree. It is based on a spouse’s ability to meet reasonable financial needs, after considering their income and any assets they were awarded in the divorce decree. The attorneys at the firm can discuss these and other important issues involving alimony such as the specific rules that regulate how to handle mortgage payments or high income cases where the Melzer analysis is used.
Is Spousal Support Necessary?
Most spousal support cases are first heard by a non attorney worker in an office conference. This individual then attempts to settle the case. If this is not possible, the issue gets scheduled to be discussed in front of a support master who can make determinations regarding the amount of support.
If the issue of whether spousal support is necessary eventually makes its way into court, the judge will set a payment amount based on a balancing of the 17 factors set forth in Pennsylvania’s statute. Some of the more important factors considered here include the length of marriage, the relative earnings and earning capacities of each party and the marital standard of living. It should also be noted that extramarital affairs or cohabitation after separation are factors that can be a bar to an award of alimony.
35 Years of Making the Law Work for Families
Lawyers at Avallone Law Associates have been serving the legal needs of families in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, eastern Pennsylvania and nearby portions of southern New Jersey since 1982.
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