Allentown Spousal Support & Alimony Lawyer
What is Spousal Support?
Spousal support is an amount of money one spouse is ordered to pay another prior to the filing of a divorce. Spousal support may be granted to a party subject to several defenses. These defenses, referred to as “entitlement defenses,” include reasons for a fault-based divorce. The most common defense is desertion. Although spousal support is need-based, it is typically granted based on a percentage of the difference in incomes, or earning capacities, of the two spouses.
What Is The Difference Between Spousal Support and Alimony Pendente Lite (APL)?
Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) is similar to spousal support, but with two main differences. First, a divorce action must be pending for a spouse to file and receive APL. Second, the entitlement defenses that may be applicable in a spousal support action are not available in an APL action. APL may be limited in some cases, such as with short-term marriages or in cases where one spouse purposefully drags out the divorce process in order to keep the APL payments coming.
How is Alimony Determined?
In Pennsylvania, there is no entitlement to alimony. Whether alimony is awarded is solely at the discretion of the court. If a spouse wishes to seek alimony, he or she must negotiate with their spouse outside of court with an attorney or specifically request it in court.
In determining alimony, the courts consider 17 factors from Section 3701 of the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. Among the most important of these factors are the length of the marriage, the value of the marital property, how that property is divided, and whether the recipient spouse has any significant separate assets.
What Happens at a Pendente Lite Hearing?
Typically, pendente lite hearings are scheduled and the two sides work to come to an agreement before even appearing before the judge. If you do get as far as appearing in court, this is a practical discussion of evidence relating to income and expenses.
Discuss Your Spousal Support Issue with Regan Law Firm
Support issues can be complex, which is why it is important to work with an attorney who can ensure that you receive a fair outcome. Attorney Kevin P. Regan has over 13 years of experience helping individuals and families in Allentown and throughout Lehigh Valley and has been voted a Super Lawyers® Rising Star® by a peer review. If you need assistance with support or alimony after a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact the firm to request a free & confidential case review.
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