Sweeney Law Offices, LLC
We Are Here To Help
Menu Contact

Are you entitled to receive alimony?

A long-term marriage has unraveled. Both spouses contemplate their financial future and have many legitimate concerns. When a marriage lasting years or decades dissolves, courts commonly award alimony to the spouse in need. Judges do not grant alimony to short-term partners or significant others.

Interim alimony

During a divorce proceeding, one spouse may have an immediate financial shortfall. In these situations, a judge often grants “pendente lite” or “interim alimony.” Therefore, the higher-earning spouse provides monthly payments to the other spouse. When the court signs off on the divorce, the pendente lite order expires and any alimony judgement in the divorce decree goes into effect.

Need-based alimony 

In Pennsylvania and most states, the courts award alimony according to a need, not gender or other arbitrary factors. The state provides comprehensive guidelines for a divorce that you should review before initiating a proceeding.

The courts seek to prevent any hardship for a spouse and children. Judges typically do not award alimony if both spouses are similar wage earners. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the courts will award the appropriate amount of alimony.

Factors that impact an alimony decision

Many courts evaluate several factors to determine whether to award alimony or not. But judges will primarily assess need. Does one spouse have the capacity to provide financial support? Does the other the spouse have a legitimate financial need for alimony?

  • Length of marriage: The spouses must have invested significant time in the marriage. If the marriage lasted less than a year, the court often won’t award alimony.
  • Divorce decision: The court evaluates the reasons for the divorce. If one spouse seeks a divorce and other does not, this influences the court.
  • Employment prospects: The court determines whether the receiving spouse can obtain employment and earn a wage similar to the higher-earning partner.

Spouses dissolving a marriage often seek a defined set of standards for alimony. Pennsylvania does not have an alimony formula, but instead it has certain guidelines. The courts take a variety of factors into consideration for determining alimony and do not want to see either spouse endure financial hardship.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Nebraska State bar association Allegheny County Bar Association - RAising the bar on legal and community service Superlawyers 2012,2013,2014,2015 Avvo Rated by Super Lawyers - Mildred B. Sweeney Selected in 2012 Thomson reuters Rated by Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Flora Sweeney Hunzeker Superlawyers.com Rated by Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Heather M. Papp - Sicignano Superlawyers.com Pennsylvania bar association lawyer distinction 2019 lawyer distinction 2020

Sweeney Law Offices, LLC
20581 Route 19, Suite 1
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-742-2590
Fax: 724-742-4409
Cranberry Township Law Office Map

Speak With One Of Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

email us for a response