Montgomery County PA Spousal Support Lawyer
Spousal Support in Pennsylvania
Spousal Support is a type of support allocated for a dependent spouse provided when the parties are married, but living apart (separately). The court’s main mission is to evaluate the individual family situation and determine an equitable solution that provides for the basic financial needs of those involved. To initiate a support-related case with the courts, there is typically a meeting with the court, commonly referred to as an intake interview, which is necessary to accurately investigate, analyze and assess the facts and information involved in your situation. For the benefit of your attorney and the court, it is important to gather all relevant information necessary to efficiently begin the process.
What Documents Should be Compiled?
- Social Security related documentation (cards) for all immediate family members involved
- Photo identification
- Current address information
- Employer name and address for those involved
- Documentation of any sources of income, such as SSI, military benefits, unemployment compensation, payroll statements etc.
- Any existing medical insurance coverage documentation
- Recent income tax-related documentation
- A copy of the marriage license, as well as any separation agreement or divorce decree that may exist
- Copies of any court orders, such as protection orders that may be present
If there are dependent children involved:
- Proof of childcare costs (if applicable).
- The children’s birth certificates
- Proof of custody and/or paternity as needed
The Spousal Support Determination Process in Pennsylvania without Dependent Children
The PA Code provides the courts the authority to determine the amount, duration & manner in which support is to be paid. The courts come to a conclusion on these based on a lengthy number of considerations and variables, (in cases without dependent children) some of which may include:
- The earning/income levels of each party.
- The health of each (physical/mental/emotional)
- Short or long-term income sources or benefits such as pensions, insurance and such.
- Any applicable inheritances
- The number of years the marriage spanned
- The basic standard of living that was established during the marriage
- The educational and occupational background and outlook of the parties
- Assets that either party may have had prior to the marriage
- Issues of marital misconduct or abuse and more…
There is an important differentiation to be made when classifying income. Total income received without any deductions taken such as Social Security or Medicare and any tax withholding amounts such as federal, state and local taxes is gross income. When income is based on the amount of "take home pay" or the amount where the aforementioned deductions and/or taxes are considered is defined as net pay or net income. The following sample illustration outlines a standard formula of steps that is used by courts in Pennsylvania to calculate spousal support in instances where there are no dependent children that resulted from the marriage:
- Spouse A has net monthly income of $4,000
- Spouse A has a $500 alimony obligation from a previous marriage, thus adjusted to $3,500
- Spouse B has a net monthly income of $1,800
- Spouse A exceeds the net monthly income of B by a difference of $1,700
- 40% of 1,700 = $680
- $680 is the monthly spousal support amount
Entering the process of a marital separation and divorce can be an emotional event often filled with uncertainty and feelings of anxiety toward the future. Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz has the necessary knowledge and expertise in order to create positive solutions for your situation that relieve financial concerns that you and your family have about the future. Take the first step in resolving your case by contacting our office at (866) 290-9292 to have a free consultation where your questions are answered and the unique elements of your family situation are addressed. We will provide you with the aggressive representation that you deserve!