Spousal Support (Alimony): How Much Will I Pay Or Receive?

What happens when the marital assets are divided and one spouse still requires support after the divorce? Pennsylvania lists seventeen factors to be considered, including but not limited to:

  1. The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties;
  2. The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties;
  3. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits;
  4. The expectancies and inheritances of the parties;
  5. The duration of the marriage;
  6. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
  7. The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of the minor child;
  8. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  9. The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment;
  10. The relative assets and liabilities of the parties;
  11. The property brought to the marriage by either party;
  12. The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
  13. The relative needs of the parties;
  14. The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage; the marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony;
  15. The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;
  16. Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs;
  17. Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.

The interpretation and application of each one of these factors depends upon how creative and artfully the arguments for or against are made.

While many counties have a presumption of post-divorce alimony dependent upon years of marriage-for example, one year of post-divorce alimony for every three years of marriage-the law does not support nor require such a mechanical application.