APL and Spousal Support
In Pennsylvania, when spouses are separated and no longer residing together, the party earning less may be eligible to receive monthly support. A spouse can file for Spousal Support or for Alimony Pendente Lite (APL). Both types of support provide a monthly payment to the plaintiff by the defendant during the life of the marriage.
If a claim for Spousal Support is filed, the defendant may raise an “entitlement defense” to avoid paying monthly support. If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff engaged in behavior which ended the marriage and which rises to the level of a fault count for divorce, they may not be required to pay support. Fault counts for divorce include adultery, bigamy, desertion, imprisonment for two or more years, indignities, and cruel and barbarous treatment. The defendant would need to prove that a fault ground for divorce has been met by clear and convincing evidence to defeat the plaintiff’s claim for spousal support.
APL is a type of spousal support designed to give the dependent spouse the means with which to litigate the divorce proceedings and entitlement defenses are not available. The dependent spouse is entitled to support to allow them to fund litigation regardless of marital misconduct.
When spouses are separated, the party earning less may be eligible for one of two types of monthly support: APL and spousal support. If you need assistance with your support matter, call us at 610-892-3877.