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  • Spousal Support and Alimony Attorney in Media, PA: Ciarrocchi Law

    Spousal Support, Alimony Pendente Lite and Alimony: What's the Difference?

    In Pennsylvania, there are three distinct types of support payments in divorce matters:

    Spousal Support: Paid to the financially dependent spouse while the parties are still married but living separate and prior to the filing of the Divorce Complaint. Spousal Support is determined based on the parties' difference of income.

    Alimony: This is a post-divorce support payment. The amount and applicability of this payment are decided during the equitable distribution hearing and are not guaranteed as they are based on certain qualifying factors.

    Alimony Pendente Lite: This is support paid during the pendency of the divorce which terminates once the divorce decree is entered, it is designed to provide financial support to the lower income spouse to assist with the legal costs of the divorce proceedings.


    Unlike spousal support, the requesting party only needs to demonstrate that they earn significantly less than their spouse, not that they are legally entitled.


    Related: Navigating child custody disputes


    How Is Alimony Calculated in Pennsylvania?

    There is no fixed calculation for alimony in Pennsylvania. Instead, the judge uses discretion to decide the type, amount, and duration of the payments based on the factors below:

    (1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.

    (2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.

    (3) The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.

    (4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.

    (5) The duration of the marriage.

    (6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.

    (7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child.

    (8) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.

    (9) The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.

    (10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.

    (11) The property brought to the marriage by either party.

    (12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.

    (13) The relative needs of the parties.

    (14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony, except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph, "abuse" shall have the meaning given to it under section 6102 (relating to definitions).

    (15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.

    (16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs.

    (17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.

    Alimony aims to meet a spouse’s reasonable needs, and is typically considered a secondary remedy to an equitable distribution award. It's important to note that alimony can automatically end upon certain events, like remarriage, cohabitation, or death.


    Related: How does divorce mediation work in Pennsylvania?

    How Do I File for Alimony in PA?

    To file for alimony in Pennsylvania, you'll need to initiate a divorce action by filing a complaint with the court. After that, you can request alimony by submitting a petition for alimony, followed by financial statements to demonstrate your need for support.

    How Often Can You Modify Child Support in Pennsylvania?

    In Pennsylvania, child support orders can be modified at any time if there's a substantial change in circumstances. This could include changes in income, the needs of the child, daycare costs increasing or decreasing, changes in the child's custodial schedule, etc.

    How Long Can I Get Spousal Support in PA?

    The duration of spousal support in Pennsylvania is typically determined by the length of the marriage. However, the judge may also consider factors like the ability of the receiving spouse to support themselves, the time required for the receiving spouse to acquire adequate education or training, the standard of living during the marriage, etc.

    What Do I Need to Bring to a Child Support Hearing in PA?

    When attending a child support hearing in Pennsylvania, you'll need to bring all relevant documents. These may include recent pay stubs, tax returns, evidence of medical insurance costs, childcare expenses, and any other documents that might be pertinent to your case.

    Your Spousal Support lawyer in Media, PA from Ciarrocchi Law is ready to support you through these proceedings and ensure your interests are protected.

    How Can a Spousal Support Attorney from Ciarrocchi Law Help You?

    At Ciarrocchi Law, located at 117 North Olive Street Media, PA 19063, our experienced family law attorneys in Delaware County are dedicated to guiding residents through challenging divorces. The emotional and financial turmoil of a divorce can be overwhelming, but a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Media can make all the difference. Ensuring that you receive the support you are entitled to can be the key to transitioning into your new life financially unscathed. Call us today at 610-502-3300 for a free consultation.

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    Address: 117 North Olive Street Media, PA 19063.

    Phone: 610-502-3300

    Fax: 610 542 9252

    Email: stephen@ciarrocchilaw.com

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