Alimony in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Alimony Attorneys

Our Pittsburgh alimony lawyers handle alimony as it relates to divorce cases throughout Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania. Our attorneys can assist with filing for spousal support or a modification of spousal support. If you have questions about Pennsylvania alimony law, we would be happy to speak to you.

Alimony and its application are not governed by any specific guideline or formula. Rather, alimony is decided on a case by case basis and only after determining the division of the marital estate in a divorce action.

Law Offices of Scott L. Levine, LLC

6425 Living Place - Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Alimony is discussed very generally below to provide a very basic introduction to some of its concepts and an overview of terms involved.

If you would like to get a better understanding of the process from both a micro and macro perspective, you should speak with an attorney who practices in your Jurisdiction for a detailed review of:

  • the specific facts of your matter;
  • the local procedures followed;
  • the statutory language and case-law;
  • a comprehensive analysis of the totality of the circumstances, and
  • measuring them against the existing law.

Alimony Basics

Alimony is a payment to the dependent spouse following an entry of a final divorce decree. This is different from spousal support and APL in that there is no formula for determining alimony. Additionally, alimony is generally considered a secondary remedy, which may not be reached if the dependent spouse is provided for through equitable distribution.

The statutory factors for alimony are set forth below:

Pa.C.S. 23 § 3701. Alimony

§ 3701 (a) General Rule. – Where a divorce decree has been entered, the court may allow alimony, as it deems reasonable, to either part only if it finds that alimony is necessary.

§ 3701 (b) Factors relevant. – In determining whether alimony is necessary and in determining the nature, amount, duration and manner of payment of alimony, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.

(2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.

(3) The sources of income of both parties, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance, or other benefits.

(4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.

(5) The duration of marriage.

(6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.

(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as custodian of a minor child.

(8) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.

(9) The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.

(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.

(11) The property brought to the marriage by either party.

(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.

(13) The relative needs of the parties.

(14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the final date of separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony; except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph “abuse” shall have the meaning given to it under section 6102 (relating to definitions).

(15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.

(16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party’s reasonable needs.

(17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.

§ 3701 (c) Duration. – the court in ordering alimony shall determine the duration of the order, which may be for a definite or an indefinite period of time which is reasonable under the circumstances.

§ 3701 (d) Statement of Reasons. – In an order made under this section, the court shall set forth the reason for its denial or award of alimony and the amount thereof.

§ 3701 (e) Modification and termination. – An order entered pursuant to this section is subject to further order of the court upon changed circumstances of either party of a substantial and continuing nature whereupon the order may be modified, suspended terminated or reinstituted or a new order made. Any further order shall apply only to payments accruing subsequent to the petition for the requested relief. Remarriage of the party receiving alimony shall terminate the award of alimony.

§ 3701 (f) Status of agreement to pay alimony. – Whenever the court approves an agreement for the payment of alimony voluntarily entered into between the parties, the agreement shall constitute the order of court and may be enforced as provided in section 3703 (relating to arrearages).

§ 3706 Bar to Alimony. No petitioner is entitled to receive an award of alimony where the petitioner, subsequent to the divorce pursuant to which alimony is being sought, has entered into cohabitation with a person of the opposite sex who is not a member of the family of the petitioner within the degrees of consanguinity.

§ 3707. Effect of death of either party. Upon the death of the payee party, the right to receive alimony pursuant to this chapter shall cease. Upon the death of the payor party, the obligation to pay alimony shall cease unless otherwise indicated in an agreement between the parties or an order of court.

Contact us if you have any questions about change in the law affecting alimony. We proudly serve clients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Allegheny County throughout Western Pennsylvania.