Understanding Alimony in Pennsylvania

Posted on November 21st, 2019 in Divorce

Going through a divorce is hard on all parties involved. One component that often weighs heavily on a couple’s mind is alimony. Often, one spouse will have more financial responsibility in the divorce as the primary income earner of the household. With that, the expense of alimony comes into play.

Pennsylvania has categories relating to divorce which often add more layers to what is expected of those in a separation including fault and no-fault divorce.  

How is alimony calculated in Pennsylvania and what can you expect to pay or receive? 

Alimony is calculated by a variety of factors including the length of the marriage, the income of each spouse, age and health, quality of life and employment status and skills. But how are those factors quantified? 

Length of Marriage

Currently in Pennsylvania, no laws exist determining the minimum length of a marriage in order to receive alimony. In most of the Keystone State, courts will begin with one year of alimony for every three years of marriage. However, the courts will then negotiate terms for that specific case. 

Your Income, Income of Your Spouse

Courts will look at a variety of factors related to your income in a divorce. In an article by Forbes, income is broken down into:

  • Salary
  • Partnership distributions
  • Perks related to your employment
  • Corporate contributions to your retirement account
  • Performance or signing bonuses
  • Deferred compensation
  • Carried interest

Age, Health, and Employment Eligibility

The court will often review the age, health, and employment eligibility of spouses in a divorce. People in Pennsylvania older than 50 who are ending their marriages are considered to be going through a “gray divorce.” Those individuals will also need to consider Medicare and retirement benefits that may not be in dispute. 

Quality of Life Enjoyed

Quality of life is not to be confused with spending habits and superfluous ways of living. The quality of life criteria most often pertains to the housing standard that has been precedent for a couple.  For example, if prior to divorce, a family of five lives in a four-bedroom home, the spouse may not agree to a home with two bedrooms for themselves and children. Similarly, a child’s education may also come into consideration in a divorce. 

Current Employment and Skills

In some marriages, one spouse may pursue a career while the other becomes a homemaker during the length of the marriage. Now, that spouse may find themselves lacking experience and skills outside the home that would  make them viable in today’s job market. This factor can come into play when determining alimony amounts and duration. 

Need Alimony Advice?

At Kalinoski Law Offices P.C., we provide customized and comprehensive legal guidance regarding the establishment of spousal support. Whether you are seeking financial support from a former partner or protecting yourself from being ordered to pay too much, our Scranton divorce attorney has the knowledge to assist you in reaching a fair resolution efficiently and cost-effectively.

Our family law practice offers a free initial consultation in which our knowledgeable attorney can review your situation and recommend the best course of action. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (570) 207-4000.

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