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Philadelphia Family Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > An In-Depth Look At Alimony In Pennsylvania

An In-Depth Look At Alimony In Pennsylvania


Alimony is a contentious issue in any divorce case. Even when the spouses are amicable towards each other at the beginning of the process, the issue of alimony can quickly change that. Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is a court order that requires one spouse to financially support the other, at least partially, during and after the divorce. The concept of alimony in Pennsylvania is a complicated one and it is essential that anyone going through a divorce knows what it entails.

Alimony During Divorce Proceedings

People often think that alimony includes payments made to one spouse once the divorce process is finalized. However, there are instances in which a judge will order a spouse to pay alimony to their partner before the divorce is final. These types of alimony are known as spousal support and alimony pendente lite.

Spousal support refers to payments made to a dependent spouse during the time the couple is separated. Alimony pendente lite, on the other hand, is similar to spousal support but will be awarded when there are challenges to oppose spousal support

Both alimony pendente lite and spousal support are meant to help a dependent spouse with their living expenses and divorce fees.  But you cannot receive both. These types of alimony are awarded by a judge but are different from other types of alimony awarded post-divorce.

Alimony After a Divorce is Finalized

Alimony awarded to one spouse after a divorce case has been finalized is the type of alimony most people are familiar with. Like spousal support and alimony pendente lite awarded before the divorce is finalized, post-divorce alimony is intended to help a dependent spouse pay for their basic needs. The family courts do expect each party to support themselves financially after a divorce, but they also realize this is not always possible. A judge will take many factors into consideration when making a decision on alimony, such as the age and earning potential of the recipient.

Is Alimony Permanent?

Pennsylvania does allow for permanent alimony in certain situations, but this type of alimony is rarely awarded by the courts. Although permanent alimony is awarded when it is intended to support a dependent spouse for the rest of his or her life, there are times when it will end. These include when the recipient remarries, dies, or cohabitates with another partner. In most cases, alimony is only awarded for a certain amount of time post-divorce.

Our Pennsylvania and New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Can Answer Your Alimony Questions

If you are going through a divorce and think you are entitled to receive alimony, or want to defend against claims that you should pay it, our Philadelphia divorce lawyer is here to assist with your case. At the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane, we will answer all of your questions regarding alimony and work hard to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 215-918-9453 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.

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