PA Alimony Attorneys Fight to Obtain Favorable Alimony and Spousal Support Awards for Clients
One of the biggest concerns that many divorcing couples have is the impact the divorce will have on each spouse’s finances and standard of living once the divorce is finalized. To ensure that each spouse has a stable financial situation and enjoys a relatively similar standard of living to what they enjoyed during the marriage, courts can impose alimony and spousal support awards. Alimony and spousal support are intended to ensure that separated and divorced spouses maintain financial stability and a modicum of financial equality after divorce.
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The Souderton alimony lawyers of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford are familiar with how alimony and spousal support issues can inject even more raw emotions into an already tense divorce proceeding. When you and your spouse make the decision to divorce and move on with your lives, you both want to move on as quickly as possible. We understand the need to swiftly reach an agreement between spouses to allow them to begin the process of moving on. We also know that alimony can be critical to helping one spouse financially adjust to living independently after the marriage ends. We strive to ensure that all our clients are treated fairly by the alimony laws.
Types of Alimony Available Under Pennsylvania Law
Although you may understand alimony and spousal support to be interchangeable, in reality, they are similar but incur different types of payment obligations. Pennsylvania law recognizes three types of payments that can be arranged between divorcing or divorced spouses:
- Spousal support: These are payments that can be ordered for a period when spouses have physically separated but are not yet divorced
- Alimony pendente lite: Also known as interim alimony, these are temporary alimony payments that can be ordered for the pendency of divorce proceedings, which will terminate upon the final judgment of divorce and a final alimony order, if any
- Alimony: These are the payments that are ordered as part of a final judgment of divorce; they may also be agreed upon by divorcing spouses as part of a pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, or property settlement agreement and incorporated into the judgment of divorce by the court
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It is important to note that while true alimony is part of the final order divorcing a couple, it does not mean that alimony is permanent. A court may decide to order alimony to continue for a specific period of time after the divorce is finalized, or to terminate in certain circumstances such as the remarriage of the receiving spouse. In addition, either spouse may petition the court to modify or terminate an existing alimony order for changed circumstances, such as a paying spouse’s decrease or increase in income, or a change in the receiving spouse’s living arrangements or financial needs.
How Dedicated Alimony Lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford Advocate for Your Rights in Alimony Cases
Courts consider a statutorily-defined list of factors when determining whether to order alimony payments and calculating what those payments should be. These factors include:
- The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties
- The age and physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties
- The sources of income of the parties
- The expectancies and inheritances of the parties
- The duration of the marriage
- The contribution of one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse
- The expenses obligated by any children under a spouse’s custody
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The education of the parties and ability of the spouse seeking alimony to obtain education or training to find appropriate employment
Any alimony determination is highly fact-specific; you are best served with an experienced and dedicated attorney who will protect your interests as you negotiate or the court determines alimony. Our resources include financial experts and forensic accountants who can accurately determine your and your spouse’s respective financial situations. Finally, if you and your spouse executed a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, we can review that agreement to ensure that it is actually enforceable before it impacts your alimony rights or obligations.
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Divorce & Alimony
Significant Long-Term Alimony Awarded to Client in Divorce
Spouse Awarded Additional Support Toward Mortgage
The basic guidelines are only the start of an alimony determination — the court will often rely on other subjective factors to arrive at a final number. It is critical to have qualified legal representation by your side to help you through the alimony determination process. If you have questions about alimony or existing alimony order, call us or send a message through our “Contact Us” page today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our alimony and spousal support attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony and Spousal Support
Alimony has nothing to do with the emotional and relationship aspects of moving on after a divorce. Instead, alimony is meant to maintain a degree of financial equality between divorced spouses after their marriage ends. Both spouses will experience an increase in their living expenses after their divorce, as they now have to each support their own household rather than supporting just one with shared resources. But it is possible to modify or terminate alimony obligations if your agreement allows for it and if your ex’s personal circumstances substantially change, such as if they remarry or begin cohabitating with a romantic partner who begins sharing in the expenses of your ex’s household.
The new tax laws impacted the deductibility of alimony payments. Although payor spouses can no longer deduct their alimony payments, recipient spouses also no longer need to include alimony payments in their income. However, courts must and do consider the tax impacts of alimony. Since recipient spouses effectively receive their alimony payments tax-free under federal law, courts may decide to reduce an alimony award since the recipient spouse will be able to enjoy the full amount of the award rather than having to pay a portion away in federal taxes.