Spouses who are separated or pursuing a divorce in the Pennsylvania courts may need help to meet their living expenses and legal costs. Alimony pendente lite is a form of financial assistance that Pennsylvania law provides after a divorce action has been filed, throughout litigation or negotiations and until all economic issues have been resolved. APL refers to payments made by one spouse to another during the pending litigation. The lawyers of Pollock Begg frequently assist clients to obtain or defend APL claims, including complex and contested hearings.
What is alimony pendente lite?
APL must be raised as part of a divorce action. If a spouse began to receive spousal support before a divorce is filed, it is converted to APL upon filing for a divorce. A spouse cannot receive APL and spousal support simultaneously but may receive APL and child support. APL is calculated according to a formula equal to 40% of the difference between the payer’s net income and the recipient’s net income, or 30% if the recipient is receiving child support. Marital fault is not a valid defense to APL, so a spouse who has committed fault grounds may receive APL even if ineligible for spousal support. APL begins to accrue when a spouse files a request, so it is important not to delay.
How long does APL last?
APL is designed to be temporary, ending with the conclusion of divorce case by settlement or trial. It may continue during appeals but could end if the APL recipient obtains a sufficient estate through equitable distribution or alimony. Pennsylvania law allows a court to limit the duration of APL if the spouses were married for a short period of time. Pollock Begg lawyers can help clients determine whether APL is appropriate, as well as the proper amount and duration.