Alimony | Pennsylvania Family Law Blog - The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz
There’s something about the New Year that makes people want to start fresh and leave all bad situations behind. Going into 2019 with a positive attitude is exactly what you need to start your year off right. But if your divorce wasn’t finalized before January 1, 2019, changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will alter your future. Read the rest »
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 2015 the courts terminated approximately 33,600 marriages in Pennsylvania. These civil cases are processed through the county courts, more specifically, by a division referred to as domestic or family relations. The actual length of time for the divorce process to be finalized through the court can vary according to a number of factors, such as; how efficiently the court moves through the caseload, or the number of hearings involved in the case. During the time that the case is pending, the court is able to issue some temporary order(s) to ensure that the parties involved are all able to afford their basic necessities.
When filing for taxes, you must inform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the amount of money you paid or received in alimony. According to a news report in The Associated Press, there was about $10 billion in reported alimony payments made in 2010, but only $8 billion reported received by spouses. In fact, there was a $2.3 billion gap between what people said they paid and what people reported receiving. The IRS reports that there were discrepancies in 47 percent of the claims that included alimony deduction. Some spouses claimed to not have received any alimony while others reported far less than they actually received. Read the rest »
Alimony, also sometimes referred to as spousal support or maintenance, is handled a little differently in Pennsylvania as opposed to other states. Once a divorce decree has been entered, the court may reasonably allow alimony, but only if it is considered necessary. There are four types of alimony in Pennsylvania: 1) Permanent; 2) Rehabilitative; 3) Limited Duration; and 4) Reimbursement. Whether a court considers one of these types necessary is determined by a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
- Earnings of both spouses;
- Ages and physical, emotional, and mental conditions of both spouses;
- Sources of income of both spouses;
- Inheritances and expectancies of both spouses; Read the rest »
According to The New York Times, New York State recently became one of the few states in the country to adopt a formula for setting certain alimony awards in an effort to make them more predictable and fair. The only other states that use a mathematical formula are Pennsylvania and Colorado. The formula only applies to temporary alimony when the combined income of both parties divorcing is not greater than $75,000 per year. However, in certain circumstances, the court may decide that the formula is not applicable.
In Pennsylvania, temporary alimony is referred to as alimony pendent lite, and is the amount paid by one spouse to the other following a divorce. These payments can help a spouse who earns very little or nothing support themselves and any dependent children. Read the rest »
The Boston Business Journal reports that recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts would make dramatic changes in the way alimony payments are decided. In addition, under certain circumstances, if the legislation is passed it would permit divorced parties to re-examine their established alimony agreements.
The bill, known as the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, establishes guidelines that have been long-awaited for with regard to alimony payments in Massachusetts. Currently, the state does not allow judges to set a cap on the duration of payments, which has resulted in many situations of non-working ex-spouses supported by an unmarried, live-in partner receiving lifetime alimony payments from a working ex-spouse. If the legislation is passed, alimony recipients would not be permitted to continue receiving payments in those situations. The proposed legislation would also make it less difficult for parties to alter their alimony payments upon retirement. Read the rest »
According to a recent huffintonpost.com article, Jim Nantz, a well-known CBS sportscaster, faces some newfound issues regarding his divorce. Apparently, Mr. Nantz is now required to pay an annual sum of $916,000 to his ex-wife for alimony and child support, both in addition to surrendering his home in Connecticut. Read the rest »
A Philadelphia man, who spent 14 years in prison for failing to pay about $2.5 million in alimony, was finally freed. The man, who requested a petition for freedom, is now 73 years old, according to this UPI news report. The man was sent to prison for contempt of court in 1995 after failing to deposit the money in a court-controlled account. The money was to be used for alimony payments to his ex-wife.
The presiding judge then apparently suspected that the man hid his funds from his ex-wife. The man on the other hand said that a poor overseas investment left him unable to make a deposit. The free man, who used to be a corporate lawyer before his incarceration, is considering trying to get his law license back and teach for a living. Read the rest »
Pennsylvania State Senate Democratic Leader Robert J. Mellow’s ex-wife wants a share of all the additional money he has been earning as a director on the Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania board and others since their divorce, according to a news report. Diane Mellow made the demand in a court petition asking to increase her alimony in Pennsylvania. Robert and Diane Mellow were married in August 1966 and were divorced in November 2006.
According to their divorce agreement, Mellow agreed to pay his ex-wife a monthly alimony of $2,600 with $150 a month increases on each anniversary of when the alimony payments began. However, Diane Mellow now contends that things have changed now because the senator has been earning a lot more because of his involvement with various boards. At question is whether the divorce agreement can be modified. Robert Mellow’s attorney says that cannot be done because his ex-wife signed the settlement knowing that its terms would be final. Diane Mellow’s attorney says that state law allows for an adjustment in alimony if the circumstances of either person changes substantially for an extended period. Read the rest »
Beaver County’s domestic relations division is apparently charging those receiving alimony payments a new $120 annual handling fee citing poor economic conditions as an excuse. According to this news article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the fee covers those receiving spousal support but not child support payments through the county. The fee went into effect after an order was signed by Beaver County President Judge John McBride in April. The new order was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, a gazette of statewide rules and proposals, the report said. County officials told the newspaper that that they did not want to tap into the pool of those receiving child support payments because it would affect children.
Alimony, maintenance or spousal support is an obligation established by divorce law that is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during the marriage unless they are legally separated. In some cases, this obligation may continue after the separation or divorce. There are many different types of alimony in Pennsylvania, which would depend on the circumstances of the divorce, the length of the marriage and the duration of the spousal support. Alimony is often a hotly contested issue in divorce cases. Read the rest »