Alimony Attorney in Pennsylvania
What You Need to Know About Alimony
Those facing a divorce quickly come to the realization that there are potentially large financial issues and decisions that are now going to be rendered. Some of the major economic aspects of a divorce could include the division and distribution of assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support and/or alimony issues. Pennsylvania courts have the duty and the power to design, order, and enforce what they determine is a fair resolution to maintain some economic justice and equity when processing and finalizing a divorce. Alimony is essentially an order for support granted to a spouse or former spouse in union with a decree conceding a divorce or an annulment.
Length (Duration) of an Order of Alimony
When the court enters an order of alimony, they determine the duration of the order, which can be for a definite or an indefinite length of time deemed to be reasonable based on the circumstances. Pennsylvania law states that the right to receive alimony under an order will cease in the occurrence of death, unless there was an alternative agreement stating otherwise already in place.
Alimony Changes and Modifications in Pennsylvania
As we experience the inevitability of changes in life, these orders do have the capability to be versatile in response to them. The most common example of such would be a significant increase or decrease to one’s income that could result from occurrences such as a change of employment or an unfortunate illness. An order is subject to additional orders of the court when circumstances involving either party of a substantial and lasting nature occur or change. Alimony orders are subject to modification, suspension, termination etc. Additionally, if the recipient of alimony where to remarry, the order is terminated.
What is the process when the individual responsible for providing alimony violates the order by failure to make payments or "falls behind" on such payments? The Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Division of Domestic Relations provides a framework of the various tools they may employ to enforce these orders as follows:
- Conduct hearing(s) necessary to validate that there are arrearages in the alimony payment schedule.
- They have the authority to seize possessions and goods, as well as real estate related rents or profits.
- The court can invoke a garnishment on the individual failing to comply with the order, which automatically provides access to wages earned up to an amount equal to 50% to satisfy amounts in arrears and further facilitate enforcement and enhance the security of the future payments required in the order.
- In addition to the "past due" amounts owed, the court can apply interest penalties to these amounts, and also may require payment of associated legal counsel fees and costs.
- In extreme cases, the court may contact the sheriff or other such law enforcement entity in reference to the failure to comply with the court order and declare the individual in violation of civil contempt of court punishable by a period of incarceration of up to six months.
Are you going through a marital separation or divorce that will have lasting significant financial ramifications? Those in need of legal representation in these complex Pennsylvania family law cases such as divorce owe it to themselves to contact the best. We will consult with you and evaluate the case at no charge after you reach us to schedule an appointment. We will help you navigate these often emotional and stressful times with the focus, diligence and strength that we have developed while representing the rights of those in the counties of Montgomery, Delaware, Philadelphia and Chester for nearly 25 years.
Attorney Sheryl Rentz is a specialist in negotiation and litigation who has an established record of obtaining great results. Contact us today at (866) 290-9292 for consultation.