When two people decide to end their marriage, spousal support may quickly become a source of contention between them. One party may be worried about having to pay too much in spousal support, whereas the other may be concerned about not receiving enough support. Here is a look at how the courts in Pennsylvania address spousal support during divorce.
The goal of spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is to financially help a divorcing individual who earned less money than his or her partner did during the marriage. Typically, a judge ultimately determines the spousal support amount that is appropriate in a given circumstance. Specifically, the court looks at a number of factors, such as the recipient's financial need and the ability of the other spouse to pay support.
Additional factors that a judge might examine include how long the marriage lasted, the couple's previous standard of living, and the age and health of both parties. Separate property is also often considered during a divorce proceeding involving spousal support. The court will also consider whether the divorcing pair share minor children together before deciding whether spousal support is appropriate and, if so, how much.
The most ideal situation for those dealing with divorce issues such as spousal support is when the two individuals can work together to resolve these matters. If they can achieve a divorce settlement on their own through informal negotiations or mediation, they can avoid further court intrusion. An attorney can help a client who is going through divorce in Pennsylvania to pursue the fairest and most comprehensive settlement possible.