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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2323
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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PA law alimony question. H and W were married 26 years. W

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PA law alimony question. H and W were married 26 years. W just received SSD award that will approximate $28,000/year. W pays approx. $7,000 for Cobra (lost job last summer). H makes $150,000/year. Recognizing that no one can predict with any degree of certainty whether and what amount of alimony would be awarded, do you have a sense of whether an alimony award is likely and, if so, any sense of the likely range of an alimony award.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 4 years ago.

Steven Kincaid :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Steven Kincaid :

To determine if alimony is reasonable and necessary the Court looks at the following 17 factors:

(1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.

(2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.

(3) The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.

(4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.

(5) The duration of the marriage.

(6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.

(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child.

(8) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.

(9) The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.

(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.

(11) The property brought to the marriage by either party.

(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.

(13) The relative needs of the parties.

(14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party.


(15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.

(16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs.

(17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.

Steven Kincaid :

All that being said, it is very common for alimony to be awarded in long term marriages (26 years is definitely a long term marriage) in which the parties have extremely different incomes (as the two of you do), one party has substantial income (which is clearly the case here) and the party requesting alimony cannot work due to disability. I would call that a "classic" alimony case.

Steven Kincaid :

As you basically recognized in your question, alimony is unpredictable. Because there is no formula, you would likely get ten vastly different results if you went in front of ten different judges with the same facts. Given your spouse's high income, I would expect alimony to be on the high side - maybe a two or three thousand?

Steven Kincaid :

Of course I'm not considering many of the factors - was either party at fault in the marriage ending?

Steven Kincaid :

Do you have ample assets with which to support yourself?

Steven Kincaid :

Do either of you expect an inheritance or other financial windfall?

Steven Kincaid :

Are there minor children?

Steven Kincaid :

What standard of living did you enjoy during the marriage and how long have you been separated?

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