Media Spousal Support Lawyer
A Pennsylvania divorce judge can order you or your spouse to pay alimony or spousal support to the other spouse before, during or after the divorce. It is important to understand that alimony and spousal support are not automatically ordered in every divorce. One spouse must first petition the court for alimony or spousal support, and this petition may be opposed by the other spouse. If the parties don’t agree, the judge will hold a hearing to decide whether alimony is appropriate, which type should be ordered, how much and for how long.
If you are seeking or opposing an award of alimony or spousal support, you need a strong, knowledgeable lawyer on your side to fight for your rights and make sure you are not taken advantage of. Media spousal support lawyer Barbara Flum Stein has been fighting to ensure fair treatment for her clients in Delaware County divorces for more than 30 years. Read more about spousal support and alimony in Pennsylvania below, and call Barbara Flum Stein & Associates for immediate assistance with your divorce.
Alimony versus Spousal Support in Pennsylvania
Although alimony and spousal support mean the same thing to many people, they actually have distinct meanings under Pennsylvania divorce law. Spousal support may be granted after the parties have separated, but before the divorce is final, or even before a petition to divorce has been filed. Alimony, on the other hand, is awarded after the divorce is final, as part of the court’s final divorce decree (alimony can also be awarded while a divorce is pending but before it is final; this is known as alimony pendente lite). It is possible to get an award of spousal support and alimony, although you cannot have both at the same time.
Pennsylvania law provides guidelines to calculate spousal support in a somewhat complicated formula based on the needs of the asking spouse, both spouses’ net incomes and earning abilities, and the length of the marriage. These are guidelines only, and the judge has the power to deviate from the guidelines amount if a party can show a good reason.
In deciding whether to award alimony, how much and for how long, the judge does not follow any statutory guidelines but instead reviews a number of different factors, such as:
- The spouses’ income and earning capacities
- The age and health of the spouses
- All income sources of the spouses
- The length of marriage
- Any inheritance a spouse has received or stands to receive
- One spouse’s contribution to the education, training or increased income of the other
- A spouse’s expenses or limited earning ability due to having custody of a minor child
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Both spouses’ education levels
- The time needed for a receiving spouse to get education or training for employment
- The assets and debt of each spouse
- Each spouse’s separate property
- A spouse’s contribution to the marriage as a homemaker
- The financial needs of each spouse
- Any evidence of marital misconduct during the marriage
- The effect of an alimony award on each spouse’s taxes (alimony is tax-deductible for the payor and treated as taxable income to the recipient)
The judge has the authority to award alimony for any reasonable period of time and can make the duration of alimony payments temporary or open-ended. In either case, alimony payments end if the receiving party remarries or cohabits with another, or on the death of either party. An alimony award can also be modified if one party goes back to court and proves a significant and ongoing change in circumstances that justifies a modification.
How Barbara Flum Stein can Help in Pennsylvania Alimony Disputes
If you are requesting alimony in your divorce, you probably feel it is necessary and important for you to get by, but if you are the one being asked to pay alimony, you probably feel differently about how necessary it is. Battles over alimony can be a major part of divorce litigation, and the judge will ultimately make the decision based on the strength of the evidence, testimony and arguments made by each party through their attorneys. Barbara Flum Stein is in court every day fighting for her clients in Pennsylvania divorce cases, as she has done for more than 30 years. At Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, you will find an aggressive, effective lawyer who knows how to achieve results in high-conflict divorce matters such as alimony disputes.
Call an Experienced Media Divorce Lawyer for Delaware County Alimony Matters
If you are seeking or opposing alimony in your Pennsylvania divorce, get advice and representation from an experienced Media spousal support lawyer. Call Barbara Flum Stein & Associates in Media at 610-565-6100.