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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
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My wife attacked me by spraying carpet cleaner in my eyes and

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My wife attacked me by spraying carpet cleaner in my eyes and hitting me over the head with a flashlight. I did not press charges but had the police come and stop her. I left and have my own place now. It has been 3 years and I filed for a non contested divorce by mail. She will not sign and says she wants alimony and will stall the divorce if I don't sign a paper saying I promise to pay a certain amount for 3 years. My daughter who I volunteeringly paid support (not court ordered) for in the amount she asked for monthly graduates in June (no college plans). She makes $15,000 less than me even though she has a college degree and I don't. She wants to be able to afford to keep our house and has bad credit from writing bad checks so she cannot refianance. We were married for 27 years. Will I be forced to pay if she takes it to court if I don't sign? She makes enough at her job that she could afford a rental but if she gets the support she can stay and why fight it if i will just lose anyway? Pennsylvania.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Based upon what you described above, this would be a contested divorce. As such, if she will not sign, you will have to file for divorce against her and have her served. Once that is done, the matter would likely be sent to mediation, in hopes that you and her could resolve any pending issues, such a alimony, child support and the division of any marital assets or debts. There are no set guideline calculations that courts can look to when deciding whether to order alimony or to determine the type, amount, manner and duration of payments. The law requires that Pennsylvania courts consider the following factors:

the spouses’ income and earning capacities

the age and physical, mental and emotional health of the spouses

the spouses’ sources of income, including benefits like retirement, medical, insurance

the length of the marriage

the spouses’ inheritances and any property they are expected to inherit

whether either spouse helped the other to get training, education, or increased income during the marriage

whether a spouse has expenses and/or a limited earning ability due to having custody of a minor child

the standard of living during the marriage

the education of both spouses and how long it would take for the spouse asking for alimony to complete education or training required to find sufficient employment

the assets and debts of each spouse

the separate property each spouse brought to the marriage

whether a spouse contributed to the marriage as a homemaker
each spouse’s financial needs

the marital misconduct of either party during marriage (the court won’t consider misconduct that happened after the final separation except if the misconduct was abuse of one spouse by the other)

how alimony will affect each spouse’s taxes

whether the spouse asking for alimony has enough property, including property divided in the divorce, to meet reasonable needs, and
whether the spouse asking for alimony is unable to be self-supporting through reasonable employment.

With that being said, it is possible that she may try and seek it but it does not mean it will be ordered and you have every right to object to it and contest it. Moreover, she will have to prove it is needed. As far as child support, once your daughter turns 18 and graduates from school in June, there will not longer be a legal obligation to support her. That is something that would be at your own discretion, if you wanted to help. The issue with the home is something that would need to be agreed upon and worked out. Of course, if the home may be sold or she may be awarded it, if she could afford it on her own. At the same time, you could try and make a clean for it. If she has bad credit, then she would not be able to refinance to modify the home alone, placing the loan solely in her name and I doubt you want to be on the current loan with her, if she is not paying it. As such, you could always ask that the home be sold. There is no way of knowing for sure if she will be awarded support. Just because she makes $15,000 less does not mean you will have to pay her $15,000. It could be a lot less but is also based upon your ability to do so. As I stated above, if she will not sign and not agree on everything, then it would be contested and need to proceed through the court.

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