As you enter into your divorce proceedings in Wyomissing, you may already be planning on being rewarded alimony due to your ex-spouse being in a better financial position than you are. Many that we here at Huckabee Weiler & Levengood, P.C. have the same expectation, yet are later disappointed to learn that simply not making as much money as their ex-spouse does not automatically qualify one for alimony. Spousal support is not meant to punish one for being more economically advantaged than their ex-spouse; rather, it is intended to only be a temporary source of assistance until one side of a divorced couple can enjoy the same standard of living achieved during the marriage.
Notice how no mention is made to having a similar income as you did while married. The court cares more about you being able to support yourself rather than being able to match your previous financial position for dollar-for-dollar. Because of this, the rewarding of alimony is not automatic. Section 23.3701 of Pennsylvania's Consolidated Statutes says that the court considers several factors when determining if alimony is merited in your case. These include:
- Both yours and your spouse's age and overall health
- How long your marriage lasted
- Your current sources of income and respective earning capacities
- Your level of education and/or the time needed to complete education or receive further vocational training
- Whether your ability to work is impacted by your parental responsibilities
- Any sacrifices you may have made to further your ex-spouse's career ambitions
If it is determined that you deserve alimony, you should know that such assistance is typically meant to be temporary. Once you remarry or secure gainful employment, your ex-spouse's obligation to pay it may end.
More information on alimony obligations can be found throughout our site.