Spousal Support, APL and Alimony

As noted in Pennsylvania Divorce Code Annotated 2011 Edition:

Spousal Support

The purpose of an order of Spousal Support is to assure a reasonable living allowance for the party requiring support and the duty to provide Spousal Support is concomitant with the marital relationship and terminates with the ending of the marriage. Title 23 Pa. C.S. § 3103

Alimony Pendente Lite

The purpose of Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) is to enable a dependent spouse to maintain or defend litigation during a divorce proceeding until all economic issues are resolved and is intended to cover only the period in which the divorce proceeding may, with due diligence, be prosecuted to conclusion. Marital misconduct, while an issue in spousal support and one of the factors for post-divorce alimony, is not relevant to Alimony Pendente Lite (APL). Title 23 Pa. C.S. § 3702


The purposes of alimony are to provide a dependent spouse with sufficient income and, in some instances to provide a dependent spouse with additional income where the property received in equitable distribution is insufficient to achieve economic equality between the spouses.

Pursuant to Title 23 Pa. C.S. § 3701(b) the relevant factors in determining the award of alimony, the nature, amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony are as follows:

  1. The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties;
  2. The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties;
  3. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits;
  4. The expectancies and inheritances of the parites;
  5. The duration of the marriage;
  6. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
  7. The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of the minor child;
  8. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  9. The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment;
  10. The relative assets and liabilities of the parties;
  11. The property brought to the marriage by either party;
  12. The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
  13. The relative needs of the parties;
  14. The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage; the marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony;
  15. The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;
  16. Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party’s reasonable needs;
  17. Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.