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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Thank you for everything. I just reviewed your answer again

Customer Question

Thank you for everything. I just reviewed your answer again and would like to provide a little more information. I don't want anything he owned before the marriage. However, he paid for everything during our marriage. I believe I earned it. I do everything in our household. We do have joint accounts but all his money. Approximately 35,000.00 in credit union. 9,000.00 bank. He has a pension and approximately 350,000.00 in his retirement fund. We have debt in both our names also. Our house fire...2008..23,700.00 left on our home equity loan
House was paid off but insurance was bad. Joint credit card...will be paid off in November 2,700.00. Jeff credit card...a little over 1,000.00. My credit card approximately 3,300.00. Please keep in mind that mine is higher because I take care of all the bills. Some of this came from the kids college books and Jeff's medical bills. 4,000.00 Jeff and I cosignerstill for our son. Now that you know more information. I hope you can tell me what I am entitled to more closely. I assume we will have to sell the house and devide equaly or buy one or another out. We haven't cheated.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thanks for asking for me. Please note -- I was away for the weekend, which doesn't happen often but I'm back now so thank you for understanding that.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also, I’d like to review your question for a minute and type your answer. I just need to review it. Thanks!

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

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.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

There is no formula to calculate post-divorce alimony in PA. Again, it is a purely discretionary issue with the court. On the other hand, when spouses decide to mediate their divorce, they themselves have the opportunity to control what alimony, if any, will apply. This is achieved most fairly when they each prepare their post-divorce budget of expenses so that they can evaluate what is needed for the recipient in order to reasonably live in their separate household and what the payor can afford.