PA Family Law Questions Of The Week: Alimony Pendente Lite

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Your Western PA Family Lawyers bring you some important information about PA alimony:

If you have spoken to a friend or coworker who went through a divorce in Pennsylvania, you may have heard the term “alimony pendente lite” or “APL.” Read further to understand the basics of APL, why it is an important form of spousal support, when it applies, and how to speak to a family law attorney about this type of alimony.

What is Alimony Pendente Lite? 

Alimony Pendente Lite, or APL, is a type of spousal support granted prior to the entering of the PA divorce decree. The purpose of APL is to allow the lower earning party to have money made available to them during the trial. “Pendente Lite” is a Latin phrase meaning “pending the litigation” and that’s exactly what APL is, support during litigation. APL allows the parties to a divorce to support themselves during the divorce process, and also ensures that the parties can seek an attorney of their choosing throughout their divorce.

When should you seek APL?

In general, spousal support begins when a spouse formally files for support.  This can happen even before the divorce is pending. APL, a special form of spousal support in Pennsylvania, begins after divorce has been filed, and when one spouse requests support.

How is APL different from other types of Alimony in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania laws distinguish between alimony, APL, and spousal support.  Whereas alimony is paid after a divorce decree is final, APL covers the time period after initially filing for divorce, and after a spouse requests support. Spousal support, on the other hand, begins when a spouse files for support but there is no divorce pending.

While there are entitlement defenses to spousal support in Pennsylvania, no entitlement defenses exist for APL.

Speak to a Divorce Lawyer about APL

Maintaining your lifestyle and living essentials during a pending divorce is a necessity, but the reality is that many people going through a divorce are not able to afford these on their own. If you are facing a divorce, speak to an experienced attorney about receiving this form of PA alimony during your pending divorce case.