Montgomery County Alimony Pendente Lite Lawyer
Understanding Alimony Pendente Lite
In Montgomery County, issues such as divorce are assigned to the Domestic Relations segment of the Family Court, which is a division of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. This department is tasked with the duty of insuring that all parties involved are protected in family-related issues and disputes. One of the key functions of the court is the administration and enforcement of types of support. One such order is what Domestic Relations Court defines as Alimony Pendente Lite (APL), when a dependent spouse is seeking financial support involving a divorce. The term Pendente Lite is of Latin origin and literally means "amid or pending the litigation", and in these terms is granted through the court as an order.
Who Qualifies as the Dependent Spouse in Pennsylvania?
A dependent is defined as either a spouse or a child that someone is legally responsible to support. Essentially, a dependent spouse is one who can prove that they lack the ability to generate enough income to provide for their necessities. These necessities may include items such as food, clothing, and shelter. In making such determinations the court will gather and review income-related documentation to quantify and compare the earnings of the parties involved. There are various contributing factors that may impact a dependent spouse’s status such as:
- The individual has a general lack of marketable skills necessary to earn sufficient income.
- The spouse is lacking in education.
- There is the presence of a medical problem such as poor health, disease, illness etc.
- Responsibilities associated with caring for young children are limiting their earning potential.
Other Support Allocations
The dependent spouse is entitled to support at a level that equates to the standard of living that he or she had experienced during the course of the marriage, assuming that the other spouse has financial means of providing such. In addition to these basic necessities, support orders commonly may also encompass medical/healthcare related coverage and expenses. The plaintiff filing for support, may request that medical coverage for him/herself be provided by the spouse who is subject to paying support, which could include medical, dental and pharmacy costs. Additionally, the court may impose support to pay for child care expenses, which would allow the plaintiff to either begin work or to attend school.
Spouse with Whereabouts Unknown
Unfortunately, there are spouses (and/or children) who may be in need of support from an "absent" spouse whose current whereabouts are not known. All Pennsylvania counties are empowered to locate these individuals who may possibly be avoiding or neglecting responsibilities. These efforts have been furthered by increased interagency cooperation and support on a national level to link and network information through various means including:
- Tax information from federal, state or local entities.
- Using data from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles driver's license database.
- Credit bureau and reporting agency data.
- Searching through information related to the individuals records for public assistance, such as food assistance.
- Information stemming from employment such as I-9 and W4 filings.
- Checking inmate institutional registries in the event that the individual has been incarcerated.
Many divorces can be complex and filled with highly contested concerns. Based on the circumstances, there may be issues relating to business ownership, stock options, investments, property, inheritance, retirement accounts, and more. Fortunately, you do not have to venture into the process alone. The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz has represented those in these situations for over 20 years in the Montgomery and Chester County areas.
Now is the time to take action to be certain that you are protected and treated fairly. Contact a Pennslyvania family law attorney at (866) 290-9292 for an introductory consultation, where we will listen and begin gathering the information regarding your case.
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