The concept of spousal support can be confusing, which is why it is important that you hire knowledgeable and experienced attorneys such as the Central Pennsylvania spousal support lawyers of Howett, Kissinger & Holst to assist you.
The confusion arises in regard to when and whether such support is available, along with what the various terms mean. The terms you need to know include:
- Spousal Support – May be awarded at any time prior to a completed divorce, even if a divorce action has not yet commenced.
- Interim Support – (also known as alimony pendente lite) May only be awarded after a divorce action has commenced.
- Alimony – Is provided after a divorce is complete.
Essentially then, spousal support only refers to support being provided to or from one individual to another when they are still married.
Spousal support is based on guidelines that the courts are required to follow. As a result, establishing the net income of both parties is an important part of determining the appropriate level of support.
Pennsylvania alimony, on the other hand, is set not by specific guidelines, but by various criteria that the court may choose to apply. Each alimony case is very fact specific, and the impact of a qualified lawyer on whether you pay or receive alimony, along with how much, cannot be overstated.
The process of determining support should begin early in the divorce process, so if you are planning on a divorce, or believe your spouse plans on filing for divorce, contact the attorneys of Howett, Kissinger & Holst as soon as possible.