How long does alimony pendente lite last in Pennsylvania?

Going through a divorce is challenging enough without the added strain of financial concerns. Alimony pendente lite provides some relief. This type of court-ordered support during a divorce case in Pennsylvania ensures fairness by enabling the lower-income spouse to afford the legal costs of the divorce.

One of the frequent questions asked is: How long does alimony pendente lite last?

Determining the duration of support

By its very nature, alimony pendente lite is temporary. Courts give this type of support to the lower-income spouse based on a variety of factors related to their need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. These factors include:

  • The income and earning capacities of both spouses.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The financial resources and needs of both spouses.

Alimony pendente lite remains in effect for the entirety of the divorce case. This could be a few months for more straightforward cases or over a year for more complex ones. Once the divorce is final, alimony pendente lite concludes. Post-divorce alimony, if awarded, is a separate matter. The court’s decision on this depends on several factors, including the financial situation of both parties, the length of the marriage and the lifestyle maintained while married.

Needing help as a recipient or payer of the support

Understanding alimony during a divorce can be complex. For the spouse paying alimony pendente lite, the court-ordered amount should not place an undue burden on them and should align with their financial capacity. For the spouse receiving support, the amount should be sufficient to cover legal costs and support their standard of living throughout the divorce proceedings. Given these complexities, it can be beneficial for both parties to seek a lawyer. Such a professional experienced in family law can help achieve a fair and balanced alimony agreement that respects the interests of both parties.


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