Alimony/Spousal Support/Temporary Alimony
Depending on various factors, you may be entitled to spousal support if you earn less than your spouse though more commonly, spousal support may be obtained to help with living expenses if you earn less than your spouse and are not living with each other. The laws surrounding alimony in Pennsylvania are applied much the same regardless of where you live in Pennsylvania – whether in a rural area in upper Bucks County, a small town such as Feasterville or Doylestown or big city like Philadelphia. And the calculation of the amount is usually not related to actual needs or expenses but instead on the relative difference in net income of you and your spouse. So long as you earn less you can receive 30% or 40% of the difference. However, it can be difficult to navigate, and many factors can affect how much you may receive (e.g., if either one you are getting child support) or work through the issues and calculate the right amount. Attorney Brownstein will apply his more than30 years of experience to give you good advice and help you get the best outcome not only for support but for a related but different right such as alimony.
If you have separated but have not yet divorced, you may be entitled to temporary alimony. Temporary alimony allows you to prepare and adjust to a dissolving marriage, especially in an immediate situation where you may secure financial assistance in the form of support from your spouse. While spousal support may sometimes be denied where for instance you are not yet living apart from each other, temporary alimony (known as alimony pendente lite – “a.p.l.”) can be a valuable lifesaver when you have financial needs and no other way to keep yourself going until issues can be worked out.
Alimony, unlike spousal support, is financial monthly payments after a divorce has been granted. To the surprise of many of our clients, Pennsylvania does permit an award of alimony when there is a good argument that it should be granted – usually because there is “need” especially if would permit an economically disadvantaged spouse to get back on his or her feet – and yes, it may be awarded to either the husband or the wife! If that need is persuasively argued. Since such an award, based on difference in incomes can go on for a number of years after a Decree in Divorce is granted, it is a valuable helpful benefit which can be difficult to obtain unless properly negotiated or well-presented to a court. Like many such benefits, the assistance of a skilled and experienced attorney, such as what is available at The Law Offices of Paul Brownstein cannot be too emphasized. We have obtained “permanent” alimony for life where a wife was too ill to work and had significant financial needs and, in another different example argued successfully against any award even in a long term marriage and a large difference in incomes (usually likely to be awarded) where it was proved that the claiming spouse had started to live with a new intimate partner.