Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton, PA Alimony & Support Lawyers / Attorneys
Serving the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County and Surrounding Areas
When considering a divorce, it's not uncommon for the spouse who was not the main "bread-winner" to have anxiety over their financial future. You have spent years raising children and maintaining a household, and now you are faced with the challenge of establishing a meaningful source of income. Alimony was designed to help the financially dependent spouse receive an income to support their new life without their spouse. Pennsylvania law establishes three different types of alimony / spousal support for couples who are facing divorce:
- Spousal support refers to financial support paid to a dependent spouse after a separation but before an actual divorce decree has been entered. It should be noted, however, that marital fault may play a role in a dependant spouse's ability to receive spousal support.
- Alimony Pendente Lite (also called APL). Alimony Pendente Lite is support paid to a spouse after the Divorce Complaint has been filed with the Pennsylvania family courts. Alimony Pendente Lite is typically payable until the Divorce Decree is entered and all financial issues involving equitable distribution have been resolved. The purpose of APL is to provide support to a spouse so that they may maintain or defend a divorce action until the divorce has been finalized.
- Alimony is the on-going support paid to a financially dependent spouse once the divorce and asset division have been finalized. The court will award alimony to a spouse that is unable to meet their reasonable financial needs when the other spouse has the ability to meet both their own needs and has the ability to assist the financially dependent spouse. Alimony is typically awarded when one spouse earns significantly more income than the other, when the parties had a long-term marriage (especially when the non-earning spouse supported the earning spouse in some capacity) or when one spouse's primary occupation is caring for children who are not yet in school.
If you are already divorced but there has been a significant change in financial status either for you or your ex-spouse, we may be able to review the alimony order and make adjustments.
Termination of Alimony Payments
In Pennsylvania, if the spouse receiving alimony payments remarries, or lives with another person in who they are in a marriage-like relationship with, their alimony payments may stop. One exception is "reimbursement alimony" which is paid regardless of the recipient spouse's living situation.
Tax Implications of Alimony
There are tax implications for both the receiver and payer of all three types of alimony that should be discussed with your attorney.
The family law and alimony attorneys at Saltzman & Gordon handle cases in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and throughout Lehigh and Northampton Counties. We begin the process by doing an in-depth financial analysis of your current situation as well as your expected earnings over the next few years. Whether you are the spouse who is aiming to receive or pay out alimony, we will work tirelessly to get the best possible result for your situation. Call 610-435-6300 or contact us online to speak with an attorney about the financial implications of your divorce today.