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What Are My Options for Seeking Alimony?

Bleczinski Kleiman & Klein, LLC Jan. 13, 2021

Divorce can dramatically impact an individual’s finances, particularly someone who was financially dependent on their spouse during the marriage.

If you are in this position, you may be nervous about what – if any – support you might receive to make the transition out of the marriage a little easier. Thus, seeking alimony can be a top priority for you.

Who Receives Alimony?

There are a few categories of alimony in Pennsylvania, and they vary based on the point in time when someone pays them. Alimony is one type of financial support that an ex-spouse pays to another after divorce is final. Not every person is eligible for alimony, and courts do not award it in every situation.

Generally, alimony payments are reserved for parties who will be at a distinct financial disadvantage after divorce. Parties seeking alimony will need to show that there is a need for alimony.

How Long Does Alimony Last?

The duration of alimony payments varies widely. An order may be in place until one of the following events occurs:

  • Recipient completes education or training program to secure paid employment

  • The recipient has had sufficient time to find a job

  • The recipient moves in with a partner

  • The recipient gets married

  • Either party passes away

In some cases, there is no specific event that dictates the end of alimony. Instead, an order can specify the number of years that payments will continue. Though less common, alimony payments could also continue indefinitely.

Who Makes These Decisions?

Divorcing spouses or courts can make alimony decisions. In many cases, individuals reach an agreement together through mediation. They may also have a prenuptial agreement in place that addresses this topic.

If parties have no agreement and cannot decide on the issue themselves, the courts will decide. They will consider several factors, from individual income and length of the marriage to the marital standard of living and evidence of misconduct.

Note that every situation is different, so seeking legal counsel to help you address alimony-related issues can be wise. Those who do not do this could make costly mistakes and oversights that adversely affect their financial life after divorce.