Divorce is almost always an intimidating process, especially for those who have never gone through it before, and this is made all the more challenging when a person considering a divorce (or is the spouse of a person who wants a divorce) is not employed. Whether you chose not to work to spend more time taking care of the home, are unable to work because you are in school or have another situation preventing you from working, or simply have been unable to find work, a potential divorce means not just starting over emotionally and relationally but also taking steps to adjust to a new economic situation without an income earner in the household. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law provides assistance for economically dependent spouses entering into divorce.
You Can Obtain Alimony at the Start of the Divorce Process
Pennsylvania allows for alimony pendent lite, which is alimony that a higher-earning spouse will have to pay the other spouse throughout the course of the divorce process, while you are figuring out and finalizing other issues in the divorce. You can request alimony pendent lite to be paid at the beginning of the divorce, so that you can be supported as you seek housing and work towards economic independence. As part of the finalization of the divorce, you can also seek ongoing alimony from your spouse based on your needs which can be awarded for a number of years.
You Are Entitled to an Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets
In Pennsylvania, the law considers the property that you and your spouse acquired during the marriage – including the earnings of either party and any property purchased with those earnings – to be marital assets, subject to equitable distribution between the spouses in a divorce. This means that you are entitled to a significant portion of all savings, retirement funds, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, and other assets accumulated from your spouse’s income, even if you did not work at all during the marriage.
Working With an Attorney is an Investment in Your Future
Spouses who are not working at the time they are considering divorce often feel as though consulting with an attorney is an expense that they cannot afford, but working with an experienced attorney committed to your long-term well-being can lead you to lasting, positive financial consequences that will affect your life for years to come. Your attorney will work with you to make sure your financial considerations are fully protected under Pennsylvania law in receiving the full amount of assets that are rightfully yours as a consequence of the marriage as well as alimony payments and child support payments that can often last for years.
Get Help With Your PA Divorce Matter Today
At The Martin Law Firm, P.C., our family law team works with men and women across Southeastern Pennsylvania in divorce matters, and we are committed to serving your needs in a compassionate and efficient manner. Call us today for a no-hassle consultation regarding any questions you have about divorce in Pennsylvania.