Alimony and Spousal Support


Alimony is support of a spouse after the divorce is final.  Alimony is not guaranteed.  Instead, it is negotiated as part of the overall divorce settlement.  Whether a spouse gets alimony from the other spouse will be based on an analysis of several factors, including:

  1. Income and income capacity of both spouses;
  2. Age and health of both parties;
  3. Types of income available to both spouses;
  4. Expected inheritances due to each spouse;
  5. Length of the marriage;
  6. Contribution of one spouse to the education or career of the other;
  7. Extent to which the income of a spouse is changed by childcare obligations;
  8. Standard of living established during the marriage;
  9. Education of the parties and the time it will take for the alimony recipient to obtain training/education to build a new life;
  10. Relative assets and liabilities of the parties;
  11. Property brought into the marriage by both parties;
  12. Contribution of a spouse as a homemaker;
  13. Relative needs of the parties;
  14. Misconduct of the parties during the marriage and prior to the date of separation;
  15. Tax obligations and liabilities;
  16. Whether the spouse seeking alimony lacks sufficient property to provide for their own needs;
  17. Whether the party seeking alimony can self-support through appropriate employment. 

Alimony is a secondary remedy, meaning that, if there are enough in assets to help a lower earning spouse support himself or herself after the divorce, alimony may not be necessary.  The goal is to sever the financial ties between spouses with the divorce.  Alimony is necessary and negotiated only if there are not enough assets to help both spouses start a new life.


Spousal support and alimony pendente lite are different than alimony.  Alimony is support of a spouse after the divorce is final; spousal support and Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) are forms of support of a spouse during the separation but prior to the entry of the Decree in Divorce.  Spousal support is awarded when spouses are separated but no one has filed for divorce; APL is awarded after the divorce proceedings have commenced. 

If spouses are physically separated, the higher earning spouse will very likely owe spousal support or APL to the lower earning spouse.  The idea is to help spouses be closer-to-equal in income in order to help them both afford to costs of divorce, and to support themselves during the process.  Like child support, spousal support and APL are calculated using a Uniform Guideline published by the state.  

Schedule a Consult with a Spousal Support Attorney Now

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley offer free consultations to help you learn your legal rights and obligations related to your divorce, support, or custody matter.  We believe that understanding your legal rights can help to empower to help you make life's difficult decisions.  We strive to help reduce the fear everyone feels about the process.  

We meet with our Montgomery County and Bucks County clients in our Blue Bell office; we meet with our Mainline clients in our Wayne, Pennsylvania office, located near the King of Prussia Town Center.  

To schedule a free consultation, please contact us by email or by phone at 215-283-5080.