It is easy for us to get caught up in the emotions of divorce, both good and bad. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that divorce also has financial components that could affect our future for years to come. One of these financial components is alimony.
Alimony is payments one spouse periodically makes to their ex so that both spouses have roughly the same financial standing post-divorce.
Under Pennsylvania law, courts can order a reasonable amount of alimony in a divorce if it finds that such payments are necessary to level the financial playing field between the spouses. Alimony can be awarded for a definite or indefinite time period.
When a court is deciding how much alimony to award and for how long, it will consider a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:
- Each spouse’s earnings and earning capacities
- Each spouse’s age and health
- How long the marriage lasted
- Whether one spouse contributed to an increase in earning capacity of the other spouse
- The standard of living the spouses enjoyed while married
- How long it will take the receiving spouse to obtain the education necessary to become financially self-sufficient
- Whether one spouse was a homemaker during the marriage
- Whether one or both spouses engaged in marital misconduct
This is only a shortlist of some factors the court will consider when awarding alimony. There are other factors a court may consider under such circumstances that are not listed here.
Know the law
It is important that you understand alimony laws in Pennsylvania. This way, you can understand your rights if you are facing divorce and the possibility of alimony.