How is Spousal Support Calculated in Pennsylvania?

Spousal Support

No matter how uncomfortable life within your marriage may be, the idea of ending it can bring a level of financial insecurity, especially if your spouse contributes more to your household expenses than you do. In seeking to address this issue, the state of Pennsylvania enacted laws spelling out three different types of support that can be paid to a spouse or an ex-spouse. Each provides financial support, but at different times and for different purposes. The family law attorneys at Baer Romain can help you understand each one, when you would be entitled to it, and how much support you can expect to receive as you enter this new phase of your life.

The three types of support defined by family law address different periods of time within a marriage. They are:

  • Spousal Support, which is meant for when the partners are still married but separated, and a divorce action has not yet begun.
  • Alimony Pendente Lite, which is meant for when the partners are still married and a divorce action has been filed. It expires once the divorce and any appeals of the divorce are final.
  • Alimony, which is meant for after the partners are divorced.

Pennsylvania spousal support is calculated based on a formula that considers both spouse’s net incomes and earnings capacity, the needs of the party seeking support and the financial means of the party providing support. The calculation subtracts the net income of the person who is to receive support from the net income of the person who is to pay support, and then allocates 40% of the difference between the two as the spousal support amount.

This formula guarantees fairness, and assumes that people in similar economic situations have similar needs, but also allows deviations from the guidelines for those who have unusual needs such as a disability or special expenses. Spousal support may also be lowered if child support is also being provided, and can be impacted by the payment of health insurance premiums, childcare expenses and more. Spousal support obligations can sometimes be denied in cases of adultery and similar offenses.

When you want to get out of your marriage, your ability to pay bills is the last thing you need to focus on. For information on the process, spousal support, custody and other important issues, contact the family law attorneys at Baer Romain today to set up a convenient appointment.