North Wales Alimony and Spousal Support Lawyers
Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyers Advocate for Clients in Alimony and Spousal Support Determinations
One primary consideration of spouses who have decided to divorce involves the impact that divorce will have on their financial future and post-divorce standard of living. Alimony and spousal support payments are designed to reflect the new realities of a couple’s finances post-divorce and to ensure that the spouses maintain relative financial equality even after the divorce.
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At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our North Wales spousal support lawyers understand the emotionally charged nature of alimony and spousal support determinations. When you have reached the difficult decision that divorce is inevitable, you want to reach an agreement quickly so that you can move on with your life. We also know how important alimony payments can be in helping one spouse adjust to living independently after a marriage, and fight to ensure that all of our North Wales clients are treated fairly under the alimony laws in Pennsylvania.
Types of Alimony and Spousal Support Available Under Pennsylvania Law
Although many couples believe that alimony and spousal support are used interchangeably—and, in reality, they often are—they actually refer to different payment obligations between spouses and former spouses. Three types of payments between divorced or divorcing spouses are actually available in Pennsylvania, including:
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- Spousal support, which may be payable during a time period when two spouses have separated, even though they have not yet filed for divorce—or even determined whether they will eventually file for divorce.
- Alimony pendente lite, which is a temporary form of alimony payments that are available during the time period when the spouses have already filed for divorce, but the divorce has not yet been finalized.
- Alimony payments, which are the final payment amounts contained in the final divorce settlement agreement or order that will continue over time post-divorce.
Importantly, while formal alimony payments only commence once the divorce is finalized, the actual amount of the payments themselves do not endure indefinitely—the period of time over which alimony is paid will depend upon a number of factors—which include, importantly, the duration of the marriage. Existing alimony orders can also be modified in any number of scenarios, such as when the payor experiences a financial hardship and can no longer reasonably afford to make the alimony payments.
Why Choose Our North Wales Alimony Lawyer to Protect Your Rights for Alimony or Spousal Support Case?
The alimony determination process is one of the more subjective aspects of divorce as a whole, and the courts will consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors in determining alimony rights and amounts in North Wales cases:
- The relative income of the parties,
- The relative earning capacity of the parties,
- Whether one spouse performed services as a homemaker or caregiver to children during the marriage,
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education of the other spouse,
- The duration of the marriage,
- The age and health of the parties,
- Assets and liabilities amassed and retained by each party.
Because of the subjective nature of both these factors and the court’s evaluation as a whole, you need a strong and aggressive lawyer by your side to protect your interests when ongoing alimony payments are at stake. Our detail-oriented divorce lawyers will leave no stone unturned in presenting the strongest arguments possible in your case as your alimony negotiations proceed. If the situation becomes contentious, we have resources available to help, and we will consult with financial experts and forensic accountants to make sure your former spouse is dealing fairly throughout the alimony determination process.
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Our alimony and spousal support attorneys in North Wales know how prenuptial agreements may impact the availability of alimony and spousal support and will work to make sure your agreement is actually enforceable before it impacts the level of alimony to which you may be entitled going forward.
Contact Our North Wales Alimony and Spousal Support Attorneys for Legal Help
Alimony and spousal support payment determinations in North Wales can be incredibly fact-intensive despite the existence of basic guidelines designed to provide an estimate of what constitutes fair payment standards. If you have questions about your obligations as a payor of alimony or your rights as a recipient, call us today at 215-822-7575 or send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” page to discuss your case with our skilled North Wales alimony and spousal support lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony and Spousal Support Requirements
Alimony and spousal support payments have very little to do with the emotional aspects of moving on after a divorce, and everything to do with ensuring relative equality between spouses as they exit the marriage. This notion represents the ideal of marriage as a financial partnership, where two spouses make financial decisions based upon a pool of income, rather than independently only in consideration of their own income and earning ability. Alimony payments can, however, be modified when circumstances change dramatically—for example, if your former spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a romantic partner so that his or her living expenses become shared, we can petition for modification of an existing alimony order.
Beginning in 2019, federal tax laws regarding the deductibility of alimony payments changed, which means that former spouses who pay alimony can no longer deduct the payments, but also means that the payments are no longer included in the income of the person receiving the alimony. While this is an extremely new change, courts do consider the tax effects of alimony and, unlike many other provisions in the tax reform package, this change is technically “permanent”—although even tax laws characterized as permanent can be changed. Because alimony recipients will now be receiving those payments tax-free, courts may be inclined to reduce the overall level of alimony payments to reflect the true amount received.