Lackawanna County Spousal Support Attorney

Determining Spousal Support in a Clarks Summit Divorce

Calculating spousal support can be a challenge in a divorce. This is true whether you are dealing with considerable assets or a modest life, whether you were the breadwinner or the homemaker, and whether you and your spouse are on friendly or unfriendly terms. Having a skilled Lackawanna County divorce attorney on your side can make all the difference in your financial stability now and into the future. At O’Malley Law Office, LLC, we handle spousal support and all other divorce and family law matters for clients throughout Scranton, Clarks, Summit, and across Pennsylvania. We are here to provide honest insight and aggressive legal counsel when you need it most. We serve Lackawanna, Wyoming, Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne, and Susquehanna counties.

Wondering whether you will be entitled to or may have to pay alimony? Ask a Lackawanna County spousal support lawyer by calling (570) 284-3551 today!

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is one of the issues that must be faced in a divorce or separation agreement. In Pennsylvania, spousal support is a certain amount of money paid by one ex-spouse to another.

Also known as alimony, it may be paid as a lump sum or in regular increments for a set period of time (or infinitely, under certain circumstances). Alimony pendente lite, “while the action is pending," refers to spousal support that is paid while the divorce is still in the process.

When awarding spousal support, Pennsylvania courts may look at a number of factors:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s income and earning potential;
  • Any potential inheritance or other assets each spouse may acquire;
  • The age and health of each spouse;
  • The standard of living experienced during the marriage;
  • The assets and debts of each spouse;
  • The financial needs of each spouse;
  • The impact spousal support may have on each spouse’s taxes;
  • Each spouse’s ability to be self-supporting;
  • Each spouse’s contributions during the marriage;
  • The division of property in the divorce; and
  • Any misconduct on the part of either spouse during the marriage.

Modifying Spousal Support in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, spousal support can be modified under certain circumstances. If either the paying spouse or the receiving spouse experiences a significant change in circumstances, they may petition the court to modify the existing spousal support order.

Here's how the process typically works:

  1. Significant Change in Circumstances: Before seeking a modification of spousal support, there must be a substantial change in circumstances since the original support order was issued. This could include changes in income, employment status, health issues, or other financial circumstances affecting either spouse.
  2. Prepare the Petition: The party seeking the modification (the petitioner) must prepare a formal petition to modify spousal support. This petition should outline the reasons for seeking the modification and provide evidence supporting the claim of a significant change in circumstances. Documentation such as pay stubs, tax returns, medical records, or other relevant financial information may be required.
  3. File the Petition: The petitioner files the petition with the court that issued the original spousal support order. They must also serve a copy of the petition on the other party (the respondent) in accordance with Pennsylvania's rules of civil procedure.
  4. Negotiation or Mediation (Optional): Before proceeding to a court hearing, the parties may attempt to negotiate a modified support arrangement through informal discussions, mediation, or settlement conferences. If they reach an agreement, they can submit it to the court for approval, which typically results in a modified support order without the need for a formal hearing.
  5. Court Hearing: If the parties cannot agree on a modification, or if one party contests the proposed modification, the court will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, both parties have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments supporting their positions. The court will consider the evidence presented, including the reasons for seeking modification and any objections raised by the other party.
  6. Court Decision: Based on the evidence and arguments presented, the court will decide whether to grant or deny the requested modification of spousal support. The court may modify the support order by adjusting the amount of support or changing the duration of support payments, depending on the circumstances of the case.
  7. New Court Order: If the court grants the modification, it will issue a new court order reflecting the revised spousal support arrangement. Both parties are legally obligated to comply with the terms of the modified order.

Call (570) 284-3551 and get an experienced Lackawanna County​ divorce attorney on your side. Schedule your free consultation

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