Alimony Law


Spousal Support is available to a financially dependent or lower earning spouse where a separation has occurred but no divorce has yet been filed. The spousal support calculation is determined by several factors, one of which is whether child support is being paid.

If child support is not being paid, the calculation is the difference between the net incomes of the spouses, multiplied by 40%. Earning capacity of spouse can be an issue as well as whether the spouse who departed the residence left for compelling and necessary reasons. It is also important to know that spousal support is generally not paid if the spouses are living in the same house and the bills are generally being paid. There are rare exceptions to this rule.


Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) is alimony potentially paid by the higher earning spouse during divorce litigation. The calculation is the same as that for spousal support but the defense that the departing spouse did not leave for compelling and necessary reasons does not apply in APL matters. As with spousal support, APL is generally not paid while the spouse are living together, even if they are separated in the same home.


Alimony is a sum paid from one spouse the other after the divorce decree or order has been entered. Alimony can be for a set number of months or years. The sum depends largely on the overall division of property and the incomes/needs of the spouses.

If alimony is paid pursuant to a contract, usually called a property settlement agreement, then the term and amount are generally not modifiable unless the contract contains modifiability language. If the alimony is imposed by a court after a hearing, then it is generally modifiable. Entering into a contract that includes alimony should be undertaken with care as the terms and conditions of the alimony are set once that agreement is signed.

Michael E. Eisenberg Law Practice 2935 Byberry Road, Hatboro, PA 19040 (267) 722-8383

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