Understanding Spousal Support in Pennsylvania

The main goal of spousal support, or alimony, is to help a lower-earning, soon-to-be ex-spouse transition into a lifestyle where they can support themselves. It is important to keep in mind that alimony and child support are two separate payments. Although every divorce is different, there are some basics about how spousal support works.

How is Alimony Determined?

Every state has certain laws that factor into alimony determinations. This is separate from child support, which is usually calculated using a formula. A judge decides how much spousal support to award by considering how long the couple was married, each person’s age and health, how they treated each other, and both of their abilities to work.

The court will also look at each party’s financial status, the lower-earning person’s need for support, the lower paying person’s ability to provide alimony, and what seems fair for both. In the end, the amount as well as the duration of the spousal support will be dictated by the judge.

Are There Different Types of Spousal Support?

During the divorce process, spouses have to keep paying mortgage or rent, taxes, and other bills. Judges may decide to order temporary spousal support to ensure that the spouses can be financially solvent until the divorce is finalized. In Pennsylvania, alimony pendente lite can be awarded to a dependent spouse once the couple is separated, although it terminates after one spouse files for a divorce.

Rehabilitative spousal support is another kind of temporary alimony. It is designed to allow an unemployed spouse sufficient time and finances to eventually be self-supporting. A judge may award rehabilitative alimony to a spouse who does not have the necessary education or job skills to find a job. Lump-sum alimony is another type of spousal support. It is a one-time payment of a fixed amount that is paid upfront and cannot changed in the future.

Additionally, a permanent spousal support is paid on an ongoing basis until the receiving spouse or providing spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries. In some cases, state laws mandate that permanent spousal support must end if the recipient ends up moving in with a new partner; cohabitation laws may apply. Periodic monthly alimony payments are the most common kind of spousal support.

 What if the Payments are Not Made?

A spousal support determination is made in court, and once the divorce order is signed by a judge, the ex-spouses will know the amount and dates that the payments are due. Not everyone follows these schedules though, and if a spouse does not make the payments as ordered, the supported spouse may file a motion against their ex-partner. A hearing will be arranged to find out why this is happening.

Spouses who do not make these payments could be held in contempt of court and ordered to pay additional penalties and fines. The court can also require the spouse to pay retroactive spousal support for any payments that were missed.

Media Family Law Attorneys at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Clients Get Needed Spousal Support

If your ex-spouse is not cooperating with your alimony payments, you can benefit from experienced legal guidance. Reach out to one of our caring Media family law attorneys at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello for help. Contact us online or call us at (610) 892-4940 for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Media, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.

Contact the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello

To discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation with attorney Deborah M. Truscello, Esq., call or fill out the form below. 

From our office located in Media, PA we serve the surrounding areas of

  • Bucks County
  • Chester County
  • Delaware County
  • Montgomery County
  • Philadelphia County
Including but not limited to
  • Allentown
  • Lancaster
  • Reading
  • West Chester

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For Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability cases, we have a contingency fee based on a percentage of what we obtain for you. We will not charge you any fee unless and until we settle your case, prevent the loss of your benefits or obtain benefits for you. 

For Family Law clients, we understand that financial difficulties often accompany divorce and other family law issues. Ask us about our reasonable and competitive hourly rates for your situation. 

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Why Clients Choose Deborah

Heather A
I have known Deb for years now and it all started in 2009 when I got hurt and needed legal help with my workers comp. I randomly chose Deb because of the things I read on her website and I liked that she had a take charge attitude about just about everything. She out-lawyered someone and got me more in a settlement for that and then also worked with me on another case and won that one as well for me. If you get to know Deb and her personal story, you will get to know an amazing single mom who has had her own struggles and has come out so much stronger. She will fight for you if you do your part as a client and follow her guidance. I have now used two women lawyers in Media and three men and I actually found the two women far more effective and both won my cases that the men lost. Without Deb and my other lawyer winning the cases for me that they did - I could have found myself disabled for good with no money to pay for the life I live because I can’t work now. I credit my ability to be able to eat and have transportation and all. I couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work they did for me. Deb has won two of my cases and I would absolutely refer others to her for the same kinds of cases and I would use her again if I ever needed her help again!
Daveen Carpenter
Deborah's team went above and beyond to get my case settled quickly. I am forever grateful
Rebecca Porter
If you ever need a worker’s compensation attorney, I highly suggest using Deborah Truscello. I had a work accident injury and was referred to Deborah. She was with me every step of the way, with this long-drawn-out process. She was there any time I had questions or needed advice on my rehabilitation. Now my case is settled. I am very happy how things turned out and I owe it all to her. I can't thank her enough. I will use her again if I ever need too.
Jackson Jones
Deborah is an excellent lawyer. She was professional, knowledgeable, and made me and my case feel important. She was always accessible and answered all of my questions. I would definitely recommend Debbie to anyone injured at work and in need of legal services.
I am a client of Deborah Truscello and also a woman of color. Deborah Truscello is not a bigot nor is she a racist. I hired Ms. Truscello back in 2016 for a very nasty custody case against a crazy man who has a history of dragging all his children through the court system. Ms. Truscello has been nothing but professional and well organized. She is very reliable and always available. I could contact her any time of the day or night and she is always responsive to my text messages, calls, and emails. If you are considering hiring her as your attorney I highly recommend you schedule a consultation and see for yourself you will not be disappointed.
Andrew Kriegh
Amazing law firm, they have helped me so much and enlightened me to the options I have, and to the right doctors who are still treating my issues... Very professional and very great people glad to have her in my team!!

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