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How is Alimony Decided in a Pennsylvania Divorce?

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 26-Nov-2014

Spousal support, also called alimony, involves monthly or regular payments that one spouse makes to the other following a divorce. The purpose of alimony is to prevent one spouse from becoming financially destitute due to this change of circumstance. Oftentimes, alimony will only have to be paid for a limited time, until the other spouse is able to financially support themselves.

How much alimony will I have to pay?

One of the concerns that one party in a divorce may have is how much alimony they will be asked to pay to a former spouse. One of the reasons many people seek a divorce is because they do not want any obligations to a former spouse, never mind having to pay a significant chunk of money on a regular basis to support them.

Alimony is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Each spouses income, potential to earn, and benefits
  • Their age and health
  • Length of the marriage
  • Inheritances that may be received
  • Standard of living
  • Child custody
  • Assets, debts, and separate property
  • Financial ends
  • Misconduct that occurred in the marriage
  • Ability for self-support

The court will examine these factors to determine the amount of alimony one spouse will have to pay to the other. Modifications to this agreement can be made as one spouse has an unexpected change in circumstances that would require that they have access to more or less money. However, alimony will automatically end if the spouse receiving alimony gets remarried, lives with a member of the opposite sex, or passes away.