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Written By: Brandy Miller | July 15, 2016 | No Comments

One of the challenges of divorce is that in many cases there is a difference in finances between the two parties involved. Perhaps one spouse has remained at home and has raised children while the other spouse has succeeded outside the home at work. Maybe one spouse has attended school while another has brought in income. Perhaps one spouse earns significantly more than the other. Pennsylvania considers both partners as contributing to a marriage, and this can mean one spouse is required to pay some form of spousal maintenance or support before, during or after divorce.

The amount of spousal maintenance and support that needs to be paid in your case will depend on a number of factors, including the specifics of your income, your financial needs and any court orders.

In general, Pennsylvania allows for three types of spousal support:

  1. Spousal Support:
    Spousal support is offered before the divorce is complete. In fact, this order may be made before the divorce is even filed and certainly before the divorce is final.
  2. Alimony Pendente Lite:
    This type of support is paid after the divorce papers are filed but before the divorce is complete. You cannot receive this type of support and spousal support at the same time. For both spousal support and Alimony pendente lite, Pennsylvania courts will use a system listed under Rule 1910.16-4 of the Pennsylvania Code to determine how much support needs to be paid before the divorce is final. The amount to be paid will depend on the financial needs of both spouses as well as the financial situations of both spouses.
  3. Alimony:
    Alimony is the spousal support and maintenance paid after divorce is complete. In some cases, alimony is ordered for a specific period of time, while in other cases, it is ongoing and has no specific end date. However, alimony can be terminated if the receiver passes away, remarries or starts living with another partner who is not a family member. In addition, alimony can also be terminated if the person paying the alimony passes on — unless arrangements have been made through estate planning or court order to ensure the alimony continues to be paid.

Do You Have Spousal Support Questions?

Alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance are an important part of any dissolution of marriage. If you have contributed financially and significantly throughout the term of your marriage, you don’t want to have to pay more than you need to — doing so can affect your own financial future. On the other hand, if you have made non-tangible contributions to the relationship — by raising children, for example — you want to ensure you get fair alimony so you can start life anew after the end of your relationship.

In either case, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who understands family law. An attorney can discuss your case with you and can protect your best interests in your divorce, alimony and spousal support actions.

If you’d like to speak to a family law attorney, contact Miller Law Group in Reading, PA. Our offices serve clients in Berks County and surrounding areas. Our attorneys have more than four decades of combined experience, and we’re pleased to be able to offer not only professional legal support and representation, but also a compassionate and caring approach to each client’s individual needs. Contact us today for your confidential consultation.