Making the decision to divorce is never an easy one. Spouses often go through periods of anger, resentment, and even grief leading up to their decision. Once the divorce proceedings begin, new emotions are combined with past resentments and disappointments, which can make working together difficult.
Spousal support, better known as alimony, is a highly sensitive issue in any divorce proceeding. More often than not, alimony arrangements require arbitration and mediation.
The Philadelphia alimony lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. have decades of experience handling the most sensitive divorce issues. We take the time to fully understand the unique issues affecting our clients, and work tirelessly to resolve those issues favorably and fairly. Our extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania and New Jersey divorce law enables us to protect the legal rights and financial interests of our clients.
Alimony Pendente Lite
The alimony laws in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are intended to provide spouses with support before and after a divorce, so that neither spouse is left destitute or unable to provide for their basic needs.
Alimony Pendente Lite is a form of spousal support that is given prior to a final divorce decree. If one spouse in the marriage provided the majority of income, the one earning much less or who has had no employment can receive temporary financial support throughout the divorce proceedings. The paying spouse provides enough money to ensure that their marital partner can pay for their basic living expenses and legal fees while the details of the divorce are being decided. When the divorce is finalized, these payments stop.
Alimony After Divorce
Alimony in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is calculated using a specific formula. A judge or arbitrator will analyze each spouse’s assets and debts, and what each needs to continue a lifestyle close to what they had while the marriage was intact. A specific amount of money to be paid by one spouse to the other is determined, along with stipulations on modifications and termination of support.
How Alimony is Calculated
The formula for calculating alimony is determined by careful consideration of each spouse’s personal data. The court will consider a number of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The lifestyle and standard of living each spouse had prior to the marriage, as well as the one they enjoyed within the marriage
- The number of dependent children the marriage produced
- The careers, salaries, and benefits of each spouse’s job
- Employment opportunities available to the spouse that is eligible for alimony
- All support provided by each spouse to enhance the education or career of the other
In some marriages, one spouse has contributed a great deal for the other spouse to further their education, obtain advanced degrees or specialized licensure, or to take advantage of career opportunities. These contributions are considered when establishing alimony payments. Any child support payments being made to a custodial parent are also factored into alimony totals.
In some cases, alimony arrangements are made on a sliding scale. If the spouse receiving the support wants to further their own education or employment opportunities, higher payments can be made while they are establishing themselves, and then lowered when their education is complete or their career path is stabilized.
Modifications and Termination of Alimony Payments
It is important to establish stipulations for modifications and termination of alimony payments before the divorce is final. Stipulations are often established for changes in either spouse’s financial situation. If the paying spouse loses their job, becomes seriously ill, disabled, or injured, or if their own living expenses have increased due to unforeseen circumstances, they can petition the court to reduce their payment amount.
The spouse receiving the alimony payments can also request an increase in the amount of money received if they experience the same life situations mentioned above. They may also be subject to forfeiture of their alimony in the event that they remarry or incur a financial windfall from an inheritance, career advancement, or other life event. These stipulations are usually outlined in detail in the divorce decree and alimony agreement.
Seeking the Counsel and Representation of an Alimony Lawyer
Alimony payments are important issues for both the recipient and the spouse making the payments. Divorce can become emotionally heated, and former lovers in marriage can become vicious enemies during divorce proceedings. An experienced divorce lawyer can ensure that your legal rights are protected, and your best interests are served.
Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Provide Alimony Counsel and Representation
The Philadelphia divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. provide counseling and representation in all matters of divorce and alimony. Call us at 888-999-1962 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, allowing us to serve clients throughout the area.