Rehabilitative Alimony and Spousal Support
There are several economic issues that need to be resolved during any divorce and one of the main concerns people have is about financial support. In Pennsylvania, there are several different types of alimony that a judge may award with one of the most common being rehabilitative alimony. This is typically awarded to an economically dependent spouse such as a homemaker. A spouse who seeks rehabilitative alimony will either have to make a claim for it in court or try to reach an agreement for it with their spouse during mediation.
If you have been financially dependent on your spouse and are now going through a divorce, you may be able to seek rehabilitative alimony while you focus on getting back on your feet. Pittsburgh alimony lawyer Anthony Piccirilli can help you navigate the details of your divorce and fight for the financial support you need and deserve during such a stressful time in your life.
What is Rehabilitative Alimony?
Rehabilitative alimony is intended to provide payments to a financially dependent spouse for a specific period of time while they develop the education or job skills necessary to support themselves. This could apply to a stay at home parent who has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time or someone that needs to complete professional training before entering the job market.
When Will a Court Award Rehabilitative Alimony?
Under 23 Pa.C.S.§3701(a), the court may allow alimony as it deems reasonable and only if it finds it is necessary. When a spouse makes a claim for alimony, the court must consider the following factors in deciding whether alimony is necessary or not:
- The relative earnings and earning capacities of both spouses.
- The ages and physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the two spouses.
- The sources of income of both spouses, including medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
- The expected future earnings and inheritances of the two spouses.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The contribution by one spouse to the other spouse’s education, training or increased earning potential.
- The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial burdens of a party will be affected by their role as the custodian of a minor child.
- The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage.
- The relative education of the spouses. [This factor is particularly relevant because it requires the court to consider the time it would take for the spouse seeking alimony to acquire the education or training necessary to secure appropriate employment.]
- The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses.
- The property brought to the marriage by each spouse.
- The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker.
- The relative needs of the spouses.
- The marital misconduct of either spouse during the marriage.
- The federal, state and local tax implications of the alimony.
- Whether the spouse seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the spouses’ reasonable needs.
- Whether the spouse seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.
How Do Courts Calculate Rehabilitative Alimony Awards in Pennsylvania?
The amount of rehabilitative alimony payments can be determined through a court order or negotiated to reach a mutually beneficial alimony agreement. The payments are more likely to be reasonable and fair when both spouses can cooperate with one another.
In the case of court-ordered alimony, the factors listed above are also used in determining the nature, amount, duration, and manner of payment. There is no set formula for calculating the duration or amount of post-divorce alimony and it can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of your divorce case. For rehabilitative alimony, the payments should last no longer than is necessary for the dependent spouse to gain the skills and/or education necessary to find employment.
How Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Can Help
The financial uncertainty that often arises during a divorce can feel overwhelming. At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, our Pittsburgh alimony attorneys can explain your options and help you reach a mutually beneficial resolution to in your divorce.