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How Alimony Agreements Work

Last updated on November 30, 2023

Alimony is not automatically awarded in every divorce case in Pennsylvania. In addition, alimony differs greatly from county to county. There is no formula in Pennsylvania to determine the amount of length of alimony; instead, there are 17 factors that impact whether and how much alimony will be provided. Many of these factors are the same as those used in determining the distribution of the marital estate.

If you are the spouse seeking alimony, it is crucial that your attorney be able to show how the factors are in your favor. If you are the spouse who might be required to pay alimony, your lawyer must be able to show why financial assistance is unnecessary.

Regardless of your position, you need a lawyer who knows the factors and appreciates how to argue on your behalf. The alimony attorneys at Hoffmeyer & Semmelman are just those kind of lawyers. Contact us to discuss your alimony and spousal support issues at our offices in York, Shrewsbury and Mount Wolf.

How Is Alimony Calculated?

As with the distribution of property, the alimony factors may or may not apply to your specific circumstances. The weight accorded to each factor will vary depending on each spouse. No two marriages are the same. It is your alimony attorney’s job to help you identify and manage each factor. The 17 factors are:

  1. Earnings and earning capacities of each spouse
  2. Age and condition
  3. Sources of income
  4. Expectation of inheritance or other forms of expected funds
  5. Length of marriage
  6. Contribution by one spouse to the education or increased earning power of the other
  7. Impact on earning power and financial obligations as a result of being custodian of a minor child
  8. Standard of living during the marriage
  9. Education and time needed to acquire sufficient education to find appropriate employment
  10. Relative assets and liabilities
  11. Property brought to the marriage by either spouse
  12. Contribution as homemaker
  13. Relative needs of each party
  14. Marital misconduct
  15. Tax ramifications
  16. Whether spouse seeking alimony has enough property to meet that spouse’s reasonable needs
  17. Whether spouse seeking alimony is capable of self-support through employment

Keep in mind, alimony is different from the other forms of support, alimony pendente lite and spousal support. To learn more about those kinds of financial assistance, please see our page on those topics.

Contact Us

Our attorneys at Hoffmeyer & Semmelman are experienced with family law. We know the counties around central Pennsylvania and we know how to help you explain your situation to the alimony decision-makers involved in your divorce. We will provide the kind of aggressive representation you require to protect your finances during a divorce. Contact us today for help.