During marriages in Pennsylvania the couple shares their lives together. Therefore, couples make decisions based on knowing that they will be providing for the family together and not just themselves. This allows couples to make decisions about who will work or how much each spouse will work during a marriage. Therefore, in order to be able to live their lives both spouses do not necessarily need to earn the same amount of income and there are many reasons that one spouse may earn the primary income.
This will work while the couple is together, but if they ever divorce, the fact that one spouse earns the primary income can create financial difficulties for the spouse who has not been working or is earning a significant amount less. In situations like these, the spouse who has not been earning as much may be able to receive alimony to help support them after the divorce. Alimony is not a guarantee and for those who do receive alimony, the amount and duration can vary depending on the circumstances.
There are a number of factors which are analyzed to determine whether a spouse will receive alimony and if so, the amount and duration of the payments. These factors include, but are not limited to, the ages, physical and mental capabilities of the spouses, their sources of income and earning capacity, the duration of the marriage, whether one parent stayed home with children and will not be able to earn as much, the assets each party received in the divorce and other factors.
Each marriage in Pennsylvania is unique and those unique circumstances make each divorce unique as well. Each divorce may deal with the same major issues such as asset division, child custody, child support, alimony and others, how the issues are resolved will be different. Experienced attorneys understand the various factors used to make these determinations and may be able to guide one through the process.