How to Get an Alimony Award Modified in Pennsylvania

By Law Offices of Kreisher & Gregorowicz on July 7, 2016

The legal definition of alimony is a payment that a family court may order one person in a couple to make to the other person when that couple separates of divorces. Of course, that’s the broad definition. In fact, the details of the laws regarding alimony differ from state to state.

In Pennsylvania, the courts are given preference of dictating the term of the alimony on a case-to-case basis, but the law require the courts to consider these 17 factors when consider their decisions:

1. The standard of living during the marriage
2. Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
3. The education level of each spouse, and how much further education would be required for the lower income spouse to acquire sufficient employment
4. The ability of each spouse to be self-supporting
5. Each spouse’s available sources of income, including retirement benefits and insurance
6. The assets and debts of each spouse
7. The financial requirements of each spouse
8. Each spouse’s age and physical, mental and emotional health
9. The duration of the marriage
10. Property owned by each spouse before the marriage
11. Any inheritances or expected inheritances
12. The contribution of each spouse to the other spouse’s education and career
13. Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and family as a homemaker
14. Each spouse’s contribution to the care of minor children
15. Marital misconduct, abuse, and infidelity
16. The effect of alimony on each spouse’s taxes
17. Whether or not the spouse seeking alimony has property adequate enough to meet financial needs

But what happens if your circumstances change? If you become involuntary unemployed or become disabled, your ability to pay alimony is affected. And if paying alimony results in financial hardship, you can request a modification of the court’s alimony order. Some common reasons for alimony modification include:

• Inflation has caused an increase in cost of living
• A reduction in your income due to a layoff, or a job loss
• You become legally disabled
• An injury, accident, or medical emergency that affects your income
• Retirement

There are also three factors regarding your ex-spouse’s circumstances that can allow you to make a modification request: If your former spouse remarries, is living in a domestic relationship with a new romantic partner, or no longer needs your financial support due to a substantial income increase.

If you’d like to speak to an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney about orders, your potential eligibility for alimony, or if you need talk about options in modifying your current alimony, please call the Law Offices of Kreisher & Gregorowicz. You can reach us at (570) 784-5211.

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Posted in: Family Law