Thank you for that information. I know you want me to assign a specific dollar amount but I won't be able to do that, for the reasons listed below. But I can help you figure out certain things.
There is no entitlement to alimony in Pennsylvania. Instead, it is purely discretionary with the court, and based on 17 distinct factors listed in Section 3701 of the PA Divorce Code. So a spouse who seeks alimony must specifically ask for it in court, or negotiate it with their spouse through the mediation process, which is always recommended first, if possible.
Alimony is used to get you to a point where you are living the kind of life you are now, not in an exact way, but in a similar way. Your contributions as a stay-at-home mom were crucial to your kids growing up and going to school and college.
You will want to figure out how much you need per week to survive and then to have a cushion so that you're doing more than surviving.
The court will take into account that he's the "monied spouse." The court will take into account that your contributions were crucial for your family and that you have a long-term marriage.
The home equity loan has to be paid off, so that can be separate, but in some cases, extras such as mortgage payments can be included in the amount of alimony.
You'll end up splitting the debt most likely or he will have to pay most of it because he's the monied spouse. A judge could make him pay all of it, so it depends on the judge.
College is another separate payment from alimony.
How much does he make per week and per month? Is he going to be agreeable or is he going to fight this? If agreeable, you may be able to mediate this and decide how much you need per month. This way you will be able to decide together how much you need per month. Is that do-able in your case?
There is really no way to predict what the alimony payment will be (or if there will even be an alimony payment to begin with) when spouses decide to obtain their own attorneys and litigate the issue in court. There are too many variables at play and the issue effectively becomes a roll of the dice. Much will depend on the type of case that is presented by the attorneys on either side or the particular mood of the judge or divorce master if you go to mediation. Too often, the real purpose behind alimony gets lost when spouses decide to litigate in court because the focus is on winning and losing. When spouses mediate alimony, they have the opportunity to together decide whether alimony will apply, and if so, what is a fair amount to pay and for how long, in accordance with their budgets and what they need and can reasonably afford.