Berks County Business Law, Family Law and Estate Planning Attorneys
Berks County, Pennsylvania Spousal Support and Alimony Attorneys Near Reading, PA
Family Law at The Miller Law Group, PLLC
Our Attorneys are proven, experienced Berks County Family Law Specialists.
Our expert Divorce Attorneys will help you decide which options are best for you based on 40 years' experience practicing PA Divorce Law in Berks County.
Our experienced Property Division Attorneys will make sure you get the best Equitable Distribution of Marital Property.
Spousal Support / Alimony
We'll make sure you have money to live will you're separated, to defend yourself in your divorce and to secure your long-term financial well-being.
Like you, our Child Custody Attorneys put the children's well-being first while protecting your rights to be with them.
Like you, our Child Support Attorneys put the children's well-being first while protecting your rights to be with them.
We'll defend grandparents' rights to see their grandchildren and parents' rights to control who spends time with their children.
What is the purpose of Spousal Support and Alimony?
The reason for Spousal Support and Alimony is to lessen the economic burden of separation, the process of getting a divorce and the divorce itself on the spouse with less income.
Is there always Spousal Support or Alimony?
No. If one spouse is a non-wage earner or earns less than their spouse (the dependent spouse ), the spouse making more money (the independent spouse) may be required to make payments to the spouse with less or no income. Spouses can come to an agreement regarding the need for and the amount of Spousal Support and Alimony or it may be determined by the court.
What's the difference between Spousal Support and Alimony?
Spousal Support is money paid to the other spouse after separation and before either spouse files for divorce. Pennsylvania provides a formula for determining the amount of Spousal Support based upon reasonable needs. But the court may adjust the calculated amount if there are unusual expenses or needs. The amount may also be impacted by marital misconduct that occurred before the separation.
Alimony Pendente Lite (APL)
The Latin term Pendente Lite (pronounced pen-den-tay lee-tay) means awaiting (or pending) the litigation. The purpose of Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) is to assure the dependent spouse has the resources to defend themselves in the divorce action. Marital misconduct is not
a factor in an APL award. Alimony Pendente Lite is money paid to the dependent spouse by the independent spouse from the date the divorce is filed until the date the divorce is finalized. It is determined Pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-4.
- Without children, spousal support or APL is 40% of the difference of the net incomes of the parties.
- If there is also a child support order, spousal support or APL will is 30% of the difference of the net incomes.
Alimony are payments made to the income-dependent spouse from the income-independent spouse after the divorce is finalized. Spouses can negotiate the amount and duration of alimony. If they can't come to an agreement the court will make the determination. The amount and duration of the alimony payments can vary greatly in cases involving couples in the exact same situation depending on the jurisdiction in Pennsylvania or even between judges in the same jurisdiction. The judge uses the following subjective
guidelines to determine alimony.
- The relative earnings of both spouses.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The ages and physical, mental and emotional states of the two spouses.
- The sources of income of both spouses. This includes medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
- The expected future earnings and inheritances of the two spouses.
- The degree to which one spouse has contributed to the other spouse’s education, training or increased earning potential.
- The degree to which a spouse will be financially affected by their position as the custodian of a minor child.
- The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage.
- The relative education of the parties. This also considers the amount of time it would take for the spouse seeking alimony to acquire the education or training necessary to find employment.
- The relative assets and liabilities of the two spouses.
- The property each spouse brought to the marriage.
- The degree a spouse contributed as a homemaker.
- The relative needs of the two spouses.
- The marital misconduct of either of the spouses during the marriage. “Abuse” is in this context shall have the meaning given to it under Section 6102.
- The federal, state and local tax consequences of the alimony.
- Whether the spouse seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including items in Chapter 35 relating to property rights, to provide for their reasonable needs.
- Whether the spouse seeking alimony is incapable of supporting themselves through appropriate employment.