PA Divorce Lawyers | Alimony Attorneys in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Law gives the courts authority to award alimony to either party if the court finds that alimony is necessary. The amount of alimony must be “reasonable”. Generally, courts view alimony as a way to address the financial needs and circumstances of the parties. In Montgomery County, PA, the courts do not use a specific formula for determining whether alimony is necessary or what the amount of alimony should be. This is why it is important for an individual to consult with a divorce lawyer in Montgomery County, PA who has experience with alimony, support and equitable division of marital property.
PA Alimony Law
Alimony can be viewed in two parts: the duration of the alimony payments and the amount of the payments. Historically, alimony was supposed to be rehabilitative in nature, but the 1988 amendments to the law expanded alimony to include the possibility of long term alimony. Alimony is also viewed as a “secondary” remedy to equitable distribution. In other words, if the marital property can be equitable divided to sufficiently address both parties’ financial needs, then the court may be reluctant to award alimony. When a court determines the duration and the amount of alimony payments, the court must consider a statutory list of factors. The list includes things such as the age and health of the parties, the length of the marriage, the earning capacities of the parties, other sources of income, education of both parties, and the list goes on.
Pennsylvania APL (Alimony Pendente Lite) and Spousal Support
Alimony is awarded upon divorce. Prior to the divorce, an individual may be entitled to Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) or spousal support. APL and spousal support both have similar calculations so the amount an individual may receive for APL v. spousal support is negligible. An individual cannot receive APL and support at the same time.
APLis only available when a divorce action is pending. APL seeks to enable a dependent spouse to maintain or defend the principal action in divorce and is intended only to cover the period during which the divorce proceeding may, with due diligence, be prosecuted to conclusion.
Spousal Support is available at any time when the parties are separated. A divorce action does not need to take place in order for a spouse to claim support. Unlike APL, if a spouse wants to claim spousal support, then the spouse must prove that he or she is entitled to it. So, for example, if a spouse leaves the marital home and engages in sexual conduct with another person, then that spouse may not be entitled to an award of spousal support.
Pennsylvania Alimony Lawyers
The financial future of both parties to a divorce is one the most important aspects and considerations. Since alimony is not based on a specific guideline amount, it is up to your lawyer to make sure that you receive an alimony award, if alimony is necessary for you. The Martin Law Firm divorce lawyers work with the client to thoroughly establish a thought-out plan for the financial security of the client. We help establish a plan of action for the client to advance to retirement age and beyond, finish an educational program, or become employed in a particular field.
Contact us today for an initial consultation to discuss your divorce matter including the financial considerations such as alimony, support and APL.
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- Berks County, PA Domestic Relations
For a free case evaluation, contact The Martin Law Firm today at 215-646-3980.