If you are going through a Pennsylvania divorce, you are likely worried about your financial obligations post-divorce, or, on the flipside, your financial situation. The purpose of alimony is not to punish one spouse, but rather, to ease the burden of the lesser earning spouse as he or she transitions from married life to single life. The courts may also award alimony to prevent situations in which one spouse may suffer unfair financial consequences as a result of the divorce, and because he or she did not work or earned significantly less than the other spouse during the union. What does the purpose for alimony mean for you, though? The answer depends on factors that are unique to your case.
The Pennsylvania courts will not award alimony in all divorce cases. According to FindLaw, the judge presiding over your case will consider several relevant factors to determine the need for, duration and amount of alimony. Those factors are as follows:
- Yours and your spouse’s sources of income
- Both of your relative earnings and earning potential
- The duration of your marriage
- Both your and your spouse’s physical, mental and emotional conditions and age
- Marital misconduct
- The diminishment of earnings due to the custody arrangements of a minor child or one spouse’s contributions to the home
- The property, assets and liabilities you and your spouse brought to the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage, and the relative need of both parties
Whether the presiding judge awards or denies alimony, he or she must give his or her reason for doing so. Furthermore, if he or she awards alimony, he or she must explain what factors he or she used to determine the amount.
The information in this post is purely for educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice.