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Can you live off of your alimony payments?

As half of a divorcing Pennsylvanian couple, you may have some questions about alimony payments. Just how long do these payments last? How much money will you be receiving? Will you be able to securely live off of it?

The Legal Dictionary states that alimony payments aim to eliminate the possibility of one spouse financially suffering because of the decision to divorce. Essentially, these payments act as a crutch during a “rehabilitative period”. After a divorce, you’re busy trying to get back on your feet and readjust to life with only one source of income. Perhaps you’re even aiming to become employed for the first time since you got married. Alimony payments are there to ensure that you won’t be left without any financial safety net.

However, it’s important to note that alimony payments do not last forever, and they also aren’t guaranteed to remain at the initial amount decided on. Changes in the lives of both you and your ex-spouse can lead to alimony payments changing, as well. For example, if you get a well-paying job and can financially support yourself, there may be a petition to terminate alimony payments. If your ex-spouse is fired or starts a new family that they must financially support, it’s likely that their payment amount may also be reduced.

It’s wise to view alimony payments as a crutch, but not a sustainable source of income. While they work well to help people readjust to a new financial situation, they simply aren’t intended to be a substitute for more stable means of financial support.