West Chester, PA Lawyer Fights for Fair Alimony Payments
Tenaciously advocating for just financial support for divorced couples in Chester County
Support is an essential, and potentially contentious, issue in any divorce settlement, so it’s important to consult a knowledgeable spousal support attorney. During the process of a separation or divorce, the economically dependent spouse may be entitled to either spousal support or an alimony pendente lite (APL) award, depending on financial circumstances. After a divorce, a former spouse may be entitled to monthly alimony payments. Linda MacElree Esquire, LLC will help you understand the type of support that will most benefit you, fighting to get you the results you deserve and need.
Helping you understand alimony and other support payments in Pennsylvania
There are three different types of support payments available to an economically dependent spouse in Pennsylvania, depending on the time a court orders them:
- Spousal support: Payments made when spouses are separated, but before a divorce is filed, are called spousal support. They end once a divorce is finalized.
- Alimony pendente lite: Pennsylvania law allows the economically dependent spouse to receive support payments during the divorce process. This is known as alimony pendente lite.
- Periodic alimony: This is what most people think of when they think of alimony. A judge may order support for the economically-dependent former spouse at the time a divorce decree is entered or later. These monthly payments are known as periodic alimony or maintenance and often continue for years.
The process of separation and divorce is stressful enough. Lynn works hard to make sure her clients get the support they need to pay their bills during this difficult time.
How are Pennsylvania periodic alimony payments calculated?
Pennsylvania uses a 17-part test to determine whether to award periodic alimony. Some of the determining factors include the duration of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage and the number of children. The court has wide discretion to decide the amount of payments, so hiring the right lawyer to argue your side can have a large financial impact. The court will also have discretion to limit the duration of the payments, although they often end when the receiving party remarries.
Pennsylvania generally uses alimony in a more limited way than other states. While permanent alimony is awarded when a spouse is unable to support themselves because of age or disability, most alimony awards are for a fixed amount of time. The most common type of alimony in the state is “rehabilitative alimony.” These payments last for a limited amount of time and are intended to allow the financially dependent former spouse time to get back on his or her feet. While Pennsylvania courts often award one year of alimony for every three years of marriage, this is not a rule and will not be applied in every case. Having a lawyer who will fight for you can help ensure that the judge orders fair payments.
In rare cases a type of payment called “reimbursement alimony” will be used to compensate someone who made a significant economic or professional sacrifice to allow their former spouse to attend school. If circumstances change at a later time, a court can modify, suspend, terminate or reinstitute payments. Lynn will work to protect your rights and your property in a divorce or separation.
Meet with an experienced West Chester alimony and spousal support lawyer today
Having an established and determined attorney like Linda MacElree Esquire, LLC on your side during a divorce is an important step in securing your financial future. If you have questions about the laws regarding spousal support, Lynn can help. To learn more, call us at 610.344.7600 or contact us online. From our office in West Chester, we serve individuals and families throughout Chester County and the surrounding areas. Consultations are charged at Lynn’s then-hourly rate.