Does the Duration of My Marriage Affect Alimony?
During divorce, the subject of alimony will likely become a part of your conversation with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. The lower-earning spouse, or the spouse with lower earning potential, may be paid alimony as part of the divorce decree. Please remember that alimony is not an entitlement in the state of Pennsylvania. The court has the right to award alimony or waive alimony rights in the final divorce decree, and the court uses the length of the marriage as part of its formula.
Length of the Marriage
The court considers how long you have been married because you will, presumably, need more money to transition the longer you have been married. At the same time, you may have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle if you have been married for a long period of time. The court, however, still has the final word regarding your alimony. A long marriage necessitates more alimony because the lower-earning spouse has done certain actions to support their ex-spouse, including:
- Giving up educational opportunities
- Giving up potential job opportunities
- Staying at home to raise the children
- Paying bills and possessions
The longer you are married, the less you may have gained over the course of the marriage.
What Factors Impact Alimony Payments?
The state of Pennsylvania uses several factors to determine how much alimony you may be paid. You will notice that almost all these factors will change the longer you have been married. If you got married last year, you do not have as much invested in the marriage as someone who has been married for 10 or 20 years. These factors include:
- Physical or emotional state of the parties
- Expected future earnings
- The ability of the primary custodial parent to support the children
- Contribution to education and career opportunities
- Marital misconduct
- The relative needs of both spouses
Someone who has been married for a long time may not be in the best physical or emotional condition when the marriage ends. Your earning potential may have dropped considerably, and you may have contributed quite a lot to your spouse’s career or educational pursuits. Additionally, you cannot support your children if you have little earning potential, no credit, and if you were abused during the marriage. Other needs may be considered, but longer marriages often necessitate more alimony.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Divorcing Clients with Alimony Payments
Reach out to one of our Bucks County divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. to start your divorce process. We will help you make a case for alimony payments, stop your payments, or reach an amicable resolution with your ex-spouse. Call us at 888-999-1962 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.