The major consideration in determining if and what kind of alimony will be awarded is the need of lower earning spouse and the ability of the higher earning spouse to pay. There is not, however, a strict formula used by judges to determine the amount of alimony to award, but if a judge does decide that an alimony award is appropriate. The types of alimony a judge can award during a Pennsylvania divorce, if he or she chooses to do so are: rehabilitative, permanent, and reimbursement.
Rehabilitative alimony helps a spouse go back to school or get training for a set period of time, such as the time it takes to get a college degree or training certificate. The money is awarded in an effort to help the dependent spouse become self-supporting through redevelopment of previous skills or credentials or through the acquisition of education, training or work experience. Rehabilitative alimony may be established for a term of years or based upon some other terminating factor such as the completion of a college education.
Permanent alimony is usually payable until the receiving spouse dies, remarries or enters another relationship in which he or she is being financially supported. Permanent alimony may be awarded to a spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet their needs following divorce. It can be modified upon proof of a substantial change of circumstances or existence of a supportive relationship as defined in the statutes. Normally permanent alimony is paid through periodic payments installments, but it can also be paid in a single lump sum payment.
Reimbursement alimony is alimony awarded to a former spouse to reimburse them for expenses they incurred for the benefit of the other spouse such as when one spouse pays for the majority of marital debt or when one spouse supported the family while the other pursued an education.
If you are facing a Pennsylvania divorce and want more information regarding what kind of alimony an Allegheny County judge may order in your case, contact our Western Pennsylvania divorce lawyers at Taybron Law Firm, LLC.