Determined by statutory guidelines, spousal support is awarded to a spouse that is deemed dependent due to unemployment, homemaker status, mental illness, or other reasons. Spousal support is subject to entitlement defenses in a court proceeding.
APL may be awarded to one spouse while a divorce is pending. In court, this is also determined by statutory guidelines. APL is given to a party so that there may be a financially level playing field and that both parties to the action are able to move their case forward. Different counties handle APL requests differently. In the collaborative or mediation process, your interests and needs are paramount, and not the court guideline.
Pennsylvania has a set of criteria to determine if an individual should be awarded alimony. Unlike spousal support or APL, there are no statutory guidelines to indicate how much or how long it will be awarded. Typically, it is awarded to allow an individual to retrain or rehabilitate in order to regain a sufficient income. Alimony is usually not awarded as a punitive measure. Alimony is payable after the divorce is final. It is by the agreement of the parties or court-ordered. It is not automatic. in a collaborative or mediation proceeding, the interests and needs of you and your family will determine whether alimony is payable.