Spousal Support

Spousal support is a form of financial assistance that may be paid by one spouse to the other spouse during the couple’s period of separation and before a court enters a divorce decree. Like child support, the amount of spousal support to be paid is calculated based on a formula found in the statewide Pennsylvania Support Guidelines. There are some defenses that may prevent a spouse from receiving support. These defenses raise issues that are often emotionally charged and accompanied by a lot of adversarial, court proceedings.  In the Collaborative Process, spouses, their Collaborative Lawyers and Financial Specialists work together in a respectful, private setting to fashion a resolution that considers the financial needs of each spouse.



Alimony refers to periodic payments that a spouse may receive after the divorce is final.  Alimony may be appropriate if a spouse will be unable to support themselves financially after the divorce or will need to pursue education or training to get a job and become financially independent. In Pennsylvania, alimony is a secondary remedy, meaning that it is more likely to be awarded where the division of marital property does not provide sufficient resources to enable the financially dependent spouse to pay for reasonable living expenses after the divorce.

Unlike child support or spousal support, there is no formula for calculating the amount or duration of alimony payments. The result is that spouses are often “stuck” in an adversarial environment that is time-consuming and costly. There are many factors to consider in alimony discussions.

  • Temporary Alimony
  • Permanent Alimony
  • Length of Marriage
  • Balance of hardships
  • Tax Consequences
  • Age and Health
  • Established Standard of Living
  • Extent of support that contributed to paying spouse’s success

In the Collaborative Process, the spouses and their Collaborative Lawyers will work together to craft a financial solution.  Learn more about how our team members can assist you though the Collaborative Process.

  • Financial Specialists consider various components of a financial settlement such as division of marital property, alimony, and, if applicable, child support.
  • Divorce coaches assist in limiting the adversarial environment.
  • Child Specialists contribute to discussions involving child support and child custody

Financial assistance during and after a divorce in the form of spousal support or alimony should be agreed upon with the support of an attorney. Collaborative lawyers can explain the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines and help you and your spouse come to an agreement.

Contact a member of the Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties, Philadelphia, or one of the surrounding areas.

What do you need to know about Spousal Support and Alimony?

Discover more from our Collaborative lawyers and financial counselors

Jeff Metz, MT, CFP explains how using life and disability insurance can protect alimony in the event one of the income streams is interrupted.

David Anderson,, CPA, CFE, CVA, a collaborative business valuation expert, provides a wealth of information and tells you what you need to know about alimony payments and recent tax changes.