Factors Considered in Determining Alimony
In Pennsylvania, there are 17 factors enumerated in the divorce code which the court considers in determining whether to award alimony, for how long, and in what amount. The court has discretion with regard to how much alimony to award and the length of time it will be paid based on an analysis of these factors.
The factors are the relative earnings or earning capacities of the parties, the ages and physical, mental, and emotional health of the parties, the sources of income of both parties, expectancies and inheritances of each party, the duration of the marriage, the contribution of one party to the other party’s education, training, or increased earning power of the other party, 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 a minor child, the standard of living established during the marriage, the relative education of the parties, the relative assets and liabilities of the parties, the property brought into the marriage by either party, the contribution of either party as a homemaker, the relative needs of the parties, the marital misconduct of either party during the marriage, the tax ramifications of an alimony award, whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, and whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.
An analysis of these factors will allow the court to best determine whether alimony is appropriate, how much is appropriate, and for how long it will be paid.