In Pennsylvania what is the difference between spousal support and alimony support.

Asked over 1 year ago - State College, PA

What is the difference between the 2 supports. And if your spouse has admitted to adultery. Does that other person income come into play since there is 2 income compare to my 1 income. And how is the payment establish for support.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Scott L Levine

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Based on the facts you set forth and your updated comment, HIS infidelity does not affect the support to which YOU may be entitled. If he were seeking support from you, you could raise an entitlement defense to Spousal Support or Alimony based on marital misconduct.

    Spousal Support is a payment to the dependant spouse after separation but prior to the filing of a divorce action; APL is support paid once a divorce has been filed; Alimony is a paid following the entry of a divorce decree.

    You can file for spousal support and child support (your comment said he abandoned “us” so I’m assuming you have children together) at any time; you probably should do so as soon as possible if you have not done so already since support is only retroactive to the date of filing. This means he’s not required to pay anything until you formally request payment.

    At the support conference/hearing, you could make an argument for an above guideline amount based on the circumstances, specifically that his fixed monthly expenses may be reduced by having a roommate or that he may be living rent free with his new partner. However, the court will not include his gf’s income in the calculation for support.

    The payments to you are established formally through the state once a support order has been made. You will have the option of having the money deposited directly to your checking account, or the funds can be put on a card that is used like a debit card.

    The child support is calculated using your respective net monthly incomes, additional expenses and applying the PA child support guidelines. Then you can receive 30% of your adjusted incomes for spousal support/APL. You should speak to an attorney if you would like them to review the actual amount which you may receive.

  2. Paul Dominic Edger

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . Spousal support and alimony are terms sometimes used together by some attorneys. However, they are different. Spousal support is what you receive due to the other party's income, and your need for assistance. During a divorce, it is known as alimony pendente lite. If the Court believes you need assistance during the divorce, they will grant APL (some call it spousal support). APL is support from the time the complaint is filed until the divorce decree is entered. Alimony is spousal support after the divorce is over, using an amount either agreed to by the parties for a specific length of time (sometimes for life), or from an amount determined by domestic relations/divorce master.

    The only income brought in is your income and your spouse's income. If he is livign with someone new, they may ask what his/her contribution to the home is (if they are helping pay mortgage, bills, food, etc. which shows the spouse isn't paying everything themselves and therefore money is freed up). Depending what action you have will depend where you file. If you have a divorce, you want to ensure you raised the claim of alimony in your answer or complaint to the divorce, and then file with the Court who will trigger with domestic relations. If there is no divorce, file a petition for spousal support with domestic relations where you reside. Speak to an attorney if you need assistance ensuring your rights are protected. All the best.

    My comments are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents,... more
  3. David M. Axinn

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Support is paid during the marriage - alimony would be during or after a divorce. Adultery affects her eligibility for support, if it happens before the divorce, or if she is cohabiting with the other person. That may mean she gets no support for herself (child support is different)

    This is not intended to provide legal advice about your situation - just a few casual remarks about a legal... more
  4. Lidia L. Alperovich

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Spousal support is paid pending the divorce and there is a formula to calculate spousal support: http://mediationaccord.com/Resources.html, while alimony is paid after the divorce is finalized and is based on totality of circumstances

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