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Understanding Alimony in Pennsylvania

By Sheryl Rentz on November 9, 2011

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;
  • Marriage duration;
  • Contribution of one spouse to the training, education, or increased earning power of the other;
  • Standard of living during the marriage;
  • Relative education of both spouses and the time necessary to further education or training for the spouse seeking alimony to get a job;
  • Liabilities and assets of both spouses;
  • Contribution of a spouse as a homemaker;
  • Any marital misconduct of either spouse during the marriage; and
  • Tax ramifications of the alimony award.

Alimony can be a very sensitive subject between spouses. Although the court takes many factors into account before awarding alimony, it is possible that the arrangement creates additional disputes. Mediation may offer both parties the opportunity to come to an agreement themselves; however, this is not always a viable option.

If you are getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, experienced family law attorney in Delaware County Sheryl R. Rentz, can help you understand alimony, as well as all other divorce-related matters. To learn more, call (610) 645-0100 today for a consultation.

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