Client-Focused Divorce Attorneys Advocate for Beneficial Alimony Arrangements
When a married couple makes the tough decision to get a divorce, one of the first issues that often comes to mind for the couple is what their financial future and post-divorce standard of living will look like. Pennsylvania law provides for the grant of alimony and spousal support to account for a divorcing couple’s finances following their separation and divorce. This ensures that the spouses retain roughly equal financial positions and standards of living after their divorce.
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At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., we know that alimony and spousal support can give rise to a contentious and emotionally-charged dispute. We understand that when you and your spouse have made the decision to seek a divorce, you want to resolve the outstanding issues in your divorce quickly to allow you both to move on with your lives. But we also understand that alimony payments can be critical to helping one spouse adjust to living independently following a divorce. That is why our experienced skippack alimony attorneys strive to ensure that our clients are treated fairly under Pennsylvania’s alimony laws.
Types of Spousal Support Available under Pennsylvania Law
Many people popularly believe that alimony and spousal support are interchangeable concepts. However, they do refer to different kinds of payment obligations between spouses or former spouses. Under Pennsylvania law, there are three categories of payment arrangements between spouses or former spouses, depending on the current state of their relationship. These categories are:
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- Spousal support, which may be granted during the period when spouses have separated from one another but have not yet filed for divorce or even decided whether they want to seek a divorce
- Alimony pendente lite, which is a temporary alimony payment that is available during the pendency of divorce proceedings, before the divorce decree is finalized by the court
- Alimony, which is the final payment amount that is ordered in the divorce decree (which may incorporate a settlement agreement between the spouses that sets forth an agreed-upon alimony payment)
It is important to note that alimony payments do no last indefinitely. The court or the parties’ agreement may specify a limited duration for alimony, usually based on the length of the marriage or the time needed for one spouse to become financially independent. In addition, alimony payments can be terminated under a number of circumstances, such as the recipient spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation with a romantic partner or someone providing financial support to the spouse, or either spouse’s death (unless the parties’ agreement or the court’s order provides that payments are to continue after a payor spouse’s death).
Finally, alimony orders can be modified at any time when either party has experienced a substantial change in circumstances relevant to the initial alimony order, such as a loss of income or employment or a dramatic, reasonable increase in expenses.
How Our Alimony and Spousal Support Attorneys Can Help You in Your Skippack Divorce Proceeding
Determining alimony is one of the more subjective, fact-specific aspects of any divorce proceeding. Courts consider a number of factors when determining an alimony award, such as:
- The relative income of the parties
- The relative earning capacities of the parties
- Whether one spouse was a homemaker during the marriage.
- Whether one spouse contributed to or otherwise provided support to the education of the other spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health of the spouses
- Any assets or liabilities of the respective parties, such as inheritances or gifts
Divorce & Alimony
Significant Long-Term Alimony Awarded to Client in Divorce
Spouse Awarded Additional Support Toward Mortgage
Given the subjective nature of alimony determination, it is important that you have an aggressive, persuasive Skippack divorce lawyer on your side who will advocate for you and protect your interests with respect to alimony. Our dedicated attorneys will explore every available argument and option to put the best possible case forward on your behalf. When alimony proceedings become contentious, our firm has the resources necessary to ensure your rights are protected; we will consult with accountants and financial experts to ensure that your former spouse or soon-to-be-former spouse is dealing fairly with you in the alimony determination process. Finally, we know that prenuptial agreements can affect the availability or amount of alimony to be paid or received, so we will review any agreements you may have signed to ensure they are enforceable before they impact an alimony determination.
Contact a Dedicated Divorce Attorney to Discuss Options for Alimony or Spousal Support
Despite the existence of alimony guidelines to determine baseline amounts, the determination of a final alimony amount is an incredibly fact-intensive endeavor. If you have questions about the alimony process, or what your rights and obligations are under your existing alimony order, call us or email us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with one of our skilled Skippack alimony attorneys. Call us at 215-822-7575 or send us a message through our Contact Us page on our website to schedule a free confidential consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Alimony in Skippack, PA
Alimony is unconnected to the emotional aspects of moving on after a divorce. Instead, alimony is concerned with the financial realities of life after marriage and ensuring that both spouses maintain some level of financial equality as they go their separate ways. This is because marriage is also a financial partnership, where spouses pool their income to support a single household. As a result, just because your former spouse is romantically involved with someone else does not end the need to ensure financial equality. However, alimony payments can be modified or even terminated if circumstances have significantly changed, such as when your former spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a romantic partner and sharing living expenses.
The new tax laws changed the deductibility of alimony. People who make alimony payments may no longer deduct the payments, and the payments are no longer included in the income of the recipient party. Courts can and do consider the tax implications of alimony payments. Because recipients of alimony now receive payments tax-free, courts may be inclined to adjust alimony downward to reflect the fact that a portion of that alimony will not have to be paid in taxes and thereby maintain the actual amount of money available to the recipient party.