Spousal support, or alimony, though not as common as it used to be, is still available to a spouse in a divorce proceeding in Pennsylvania. The objective, with a grant of alimony, is to provide a person with the financial resources to meet their day-to-day expenses while they take the steps necessary to become self-sufficient. The court may, in certain circumstances, determine that the recipient, either because of age or health considerations, will never be able to take care of his or her own needs. In those limited circumstances, the court may award permanent spousal support. In all other situations, alimony is generally granted only when it is determined to be necessary. It may be awarded for a specific period of time or until it can be demonstrated that the recipient is self-sufficient.
In Pennsylvania, an award of alimony is entirely at the discretion of the court. When determining whether spousal support is warranted and, if so, how much should be paid and for how long, the court can take a number of factors into consideration, including:
- The age and health of both parties
- The respective income of each party
- The earning potential of both parties
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living to which the parties were accustomed
- The contributions of a spouse as homemaker
- The extent to which one party contributed to the earning power of the other
- The educational background of both parties and the time needed to prepare the recipient to be self-sufficient
- The extent to which either of the parties engaged in adultery or other marital misconduct
At the office of Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates, we have more than 25 years of family law experience. We’ll help you stay focused on what matters. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-886-1266.