Alimony Types In Pennsylvania
There are three types of alimony based on when a spouse requests the payments during the divorce process. Spousal support is a type of pre-divorce payment where one spouse supports the other. For example, if a couple separates and begins living in different homes but is yet to file for divorce, one party can request the other to support them financially.
Once one person files for divorce, the payment is called alimony pendente lite. In essence, it is the same as spousal support, but it has to bear a different name as the circumstances surrounding the separation change.
Finally, post-divorce payments are known as alimony. Judges determine these payments differently from the first two, and these payments begin as soon as the divorce is finalized.
Regardless of the alimony type, the higher-earning spouse is commonly the one who pays it. Thus, a court has to have access to the spouses earnings and financial records in order to determine who needs to pay.
Finally, it is important to mention that alimony is always separate from child support. Courts calculate alimony first and then make decisions regarding the support of children that are still minors.
Spousal Support Taxes And Alimony In Pa
Alimony in Pennsylvania was once tax deductible for the paying spouse and taxable income for the recipient. Alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the paying spouse or reportable income for the recipient as of January 1, 2019. Pennsylvanias spousal support formula was revised to reflect the changes in tax law, and judges will consider the new tax laws when calculating alimony by Pennsylvania divorce laws alimony.
Determine How Long Alimony Will Last In Pennsylvania
The final question with regard to alimony in Pennsylvania is how long are you going to have to pay it? or how long are you going to be receiving it? Thats a big question that most people want to know. There is no easy answer to that question. It depends really on Id say the major factor is how has the marriage been? If its a really short marriage youre not going to get it for very long. If its been a really long marriage, if youve been married for 30 years, and youre both in retirement, it may be indefinite. You may have to pay or you may get it for the rest of your life. The tougher questions are those in-between marriages you know, 10, 15, 20 years.
While theres no easy answer, a good rule of thumb is 1 year of alimony for every 3 years of marriage. If youve been married for 15 years, a good rule of thumb to think is about probably 5 years of alimony. Now that will change depending on different factors- if someone is really close to retirement, and 5 years only gets them to 64, the court might give them a couple of extra years to get them to 67. If in equitable distribution the assets were distributed unevenly, say 60/40, then the court could potentially shorten the length of alimony. But if youre looking for a quick and dirty answer for how long you have to pay it, think about one year of alimony for every 3 years of marriage.
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How Is Spousal Support Calculated In Pa
If the court decides to issue an order for spousal support, the amount of the payments will be calculated by using a mathematical formula.
- The difference in the parties net incomes is multiplied by 30%, if there is already a child support order in place
- The difference in the parties net incomes is multiplied by 40%, if there is no child support order currently in place
- The resulting number is the amount that the higher-earning spouse will be ordered to pay
There are also some other factors that a court might consider in deciding whether a specific case requires the court to deviate from this formula As you can see, even in the simplest form calculating spousal support can be extremely confusing. If you have any questions about spousal support, the experienced divorce attorneys at Notaro Epstein Family Law Group, P.C. can help.Contact us today.
Alimony Pendente Lite
As with spousal support, if the court decides to grant APL it will determine the amount by using a mathematical calculation based on fixed percentages and the net incomes of the parties. Unlike for spousal support, however, claiming that your financially dependent spouse cheated on you will not get you out of paying. Acts that constitute a fault-based ground for divorce cannot be used as a defense to paying APL. If you have any questions about whether APL is a possibility in your case, we can help.Contact us today.
About Alimony in Pennsylvania
Who Is Entitled To Alimony
The next question for the lower earning spouse is am I entitled to alimony? There is no guarantee in Pennsylvania for awarding alimony. Instead, its purely discretionary and a judge makes the determination based on 17 factors listed in Section 3701 of the PA Divorce Code. A spouse who seeks alimony must specifically ask for it in court or negotiate it with their spouse through the meditation process, which is always recommended first, if possible.
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Can The Court Modify The Terms Of The Alimony
If circumstances change for one of the spouses, they can file a motion to modify the alimony order. This change could be a significant loss of income, or an illness or disability.
As alimony attorneys, Doylestowns Penglase & Benson deals with questions like these on a regular basis. And were ready to help guide you through the process of alimony, making sure your voice is heard during your divorce case.
If youre seeking an alimony attorney in Doylestown, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
How To Calculate Alimony In Pennsylvania
Factors the court considers when determining whether or not to award alimony can include:
- The contributions, monetary and non-monetary, made by one spouse to the education, training, vocational skills, career, or earning capacity of the other spouse
- The length of time that the marriage lasted
- The age, physical and emotional health of both spouses
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The ability of each spouse to maintain a lifestyle commensurate with that established during their marriage
- Their respective assets and liabilities
- Income sources of both spouses
- The extent to which the finances of a spouse will be affected by being the primary custodial parent of a minor child
- The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker
- Each spouses respective financial needs based on the marital lifestyle
- Each spouses respective ability to pay, including with consideration of all income and assets
- The tax consequences to each party
- The education and job skills of both spouses
- Child custody arrangements when applicable
- Any history of domestic violence in the marriage
Alimony is awarded based upon what is considered fair under the circumstances, and the various types of spousal support may be calculated differently. For instance, Pennsylvania courts use predefined guidelines based on the spouses net incomes to determine the amount of pre-divorce support to award.
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Alimony Spousal Support Or Alimony Pendente Lite
Alimony, spousal support and alimony pendente lite are three terms that are used interchangeably, but are actually very different concepts under Pennsylvania law. The payment that is right for you will depend on whether you have filed for divorce and whether your divorce has been granted.
Spousal support and alimony pendente lite are payments made during the separation period before the divorce becomes final. These payments may also be called maintenance. Alimony refers to periodic post-divorce payments paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce becomes final.
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Types Of Alimony In Pennsylvania
There are three types of alimony that can be awarded when you divorce in Pennsylvania. They include:
1. Rehabilitative Alimony This is paid by one ex-spouse to another and is paid for a specific purpose. It is typically paid for a short period of time. It is meant to allow the receiver to get trained in a job or get a certificate in a chosen field of employment. This way, the spouse can return to the workforce and increase their ability to be self-sufficient. This alimony is paid in tandem with the second type of alimony you can receive, which is described next.
2. Durational or Permanent Alimony The name of the latter suggests that it will be paid by the payor until they or the spouse receiving it passes away. However, this is not the case in Pennsylvania any longer. Most alimony payouts in PA now come with durations that are finite. It may be paid over a number of years, or an event such as retirement that causes the payments to come to an end, and the duration to be completed. This variety of alimony is paid by the spouse who makes a higher income to the lower income spouse in order to make the time between being married to being single an easier process. This allows both parties to live in such a way that looks similar to the life they lived before divorce took place.
Keep in mind, you can receive more than one type of alimony in Pennsylvania.
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Have More Questions Contact Rosen Family Law Group
If you have any more questions about alimony, or another divorce-related issue, theRosen Family Law Group would love to provide you with the answers you need! Our divorce lawyer in Pittsburgh has been devoted tofamily law exclusively fornearly 20 years, so we have both the book knowledge and first-hand experience you can trust.
to contact us today we look forward to hearing from you soon!
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How Does Alimony Work In Pennsylvania
If you and your spouse are divorcing, your financial circumstances will likely change. Your spouse may have earned more than you during your marriage. Without their income, you might have concerns about maintaining your standard of living or making ends meet. Yet, you may fear that any alimony you receive will prove insufficient. Pennsylvanias laws, though, will ensure you receive a fair award.
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How Long Does Alimony Last In Pa
People going through a divorce often wonder, how long does alimony last in PA? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including what type of alimony or support is being paid.
As we discussed in our previous article, there are three types of alimony or support that a court might order paid in Pennsylvania: Spousal Support, which is support paid to a spouse when separation begins but before a divorce is filed Alimony Pendente Lite , which is support paid to a spouse after a divorce is filed but before the divorce is final and Alimony, which is support paid to a spouse after a divorce is final.
How Does Alimony Work In Illinois
The basic formula for alimony in Illinois is fairly simple: = the yearly maintenance paid. One condition to this is that the amount awarded cannot cause the receiving spouse to earn more than 40% of the couples combined net income.
How do you get unpaid alimony?
To collect past-due alimony support payments, you can write a Demand for Alimony Payment letter reminding your ex-spouse of his or her support obligations. If your ex-spouse does not repay the past-due support, you can use the letter as proof of your attempt to collect payment and resolve the matter.
Is alimony automatic in PA?
In Pennsylvania, alimony refers to the financial support paid from one ex-spouse to another once their marriage ends and divorce is final. Despite all the factors laid out to simplify alimony award decisions made by courts, Pennsylvania laws do not automatically entitle either party to alimony.
How long does spousal support last in Arizona?
In general, most spousal maintenance orders have a duration of 30% to 50% of the marriage duration. In case you were married for ten months, the spousal maintenance will last 3-5 months. A marriage of ten years will bring 3-5 years of spousal maintenance.
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How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Alimony
There is no exact answer for how long a couple has to be married for one spouse to have to pay alimony to the other.
In many cases, shorter marriages are less likely to result in alimony payments, whereas longer marriages in which one spouse made significantly less money and/or stayed home to raise children will likely require one spouse to pay alimony to the other.
The purpose of alimony is for the lower-earning spouse to be able to maintain the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. In most states, longer marriages are associated with higher alimony payments and a longer duration of payments.
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Learn Whether Living With A New Partner Or Getting Married Will Affect Your Alimony Payments
When couples divorce, it’s natural to wonder which spouse will pay or receive alimony as part of the divorce. Alimony isn’t awarded in every case. However, when a judge determines that alimony is appropriate, it’s because an alimony award will help equalize the financial impact of divorce on both spouses.
Usually this means a higher-earning spouse will pay court-ordered alimony to the lower-earning spouse to help that spouse cover financial needs. Alimony won’t last forever and a supported spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation can cut an alimony award short.
This article provides an overview of alimony awards and the affect of remarriage or cohabitation on alimony in Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions after reading this article, you shouldcontact a local family law attorney for advice.
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Calculating Spousal Support In Pa
There is no fixed formula for Pennsylvania alimony. Instead, the Pennsylvania Legislature has creates a list of 17 criteria that the courts must consider when awarding alimony. These criteria include your income and assets, your financial needs, and your spouses income and assets and financial needs. Every case is different.
Gaining A Clear Picture Of Income And Assets
Determining alimony often becomes one of the more contentious aspects of divorce. It is important to clarify that alimony is not viewed by the court as a means for either party to get revenge.
It is not uncommon, however, for a party to attempt to hide income or provide incomplete or inaccurate information regarding income and assets. If necessary, we will work with forensic accountants, tax specialists, business valuators and others who can bring clarity to the total financial picture in order to obtain a fair judgment regarding alimony.
We have a strong track record of helping our clients reach agreement on alimony and other family law issues without the need to litigate. All of our lawyers are trial-tested, however, and we always prepare meticulously in case an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation.
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Modification Of Alimony In Pennsylvania
Either spouse can ask the court to amend or terminate an alimony award, but the court will only do so if the requesting spouse can show that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the previous judgment that makes the current order unreasonable.
If the court orders permanent support and the supporting spouse loses his or her work or becomes disabled, the paying spouse might ask for a change.
You can submit a formal request for enforcement with the court if you arent receiving court-ordered support payments. Your spouse may be ordered to pay fines, attorney fees, interest, or serve time in prison by the court.
Factors That Play A Role
In the state of Pennsylvania, alimony is defined as monthly payments made from one spouse to another. Many misconceptions exist regarding how spousal support is determined. The first, and most prominent, is that alimony will only be ordered in cases where the marriage lasted a number of years. Another misconception is that the receiving spouse is entitled to one year of spousal support for every three years of marriage. While these beliefs are based on some truth, there are a multitude of factors that are used to determine the amount of alimony payments. Other elements that a judge might consider when calculating spousal support or alimony include, but are not limited to:
- The reason the divorce is being sought and whether both spouses agree that the divorce is necessary
- How long the marriage lasted, and in most cases, a person will not be granted spousal support if the marriage ends after only a few months
- Whether or not the spouse that is more financially successful can afford to make monthly alimony payments
- Whether or not the receiving spouse has the ability to get a job and arrange their own finances
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