Alimony Pendente Lite – How do I pronounce this, what is it and how do I get it?

This blog is a continuation of the  various forms of  support for one’s spouse or ex spouse under Pennsylvania law.

In my last blog I explained what spousal support is in Pennsylvania.

Today I will explain what alimony pendente Lite is under Pennsylvania law.

Alimony pendente Lite (APL) (pronounced  “aləˌmōnē penˌdentē ˈlīdē”) is support payments for one’s spouse to level the playing field and support the individual’s litigation of a divorce action. In order for there to be an APL order, there must be an open divorce action with a count for APL within the divorce complaint.

When APL is included in a divorce complaint, a motion for a APL conference is requested with Domestic Relations at the Court of Common Pleas where the divorce is pending.  At the conference, the Domestic Relations officer will gather information from the following documents provided by the parties such as most recent tax returns, W-2’s, 6 months of pay stubs,  and proof of expenses, then run a calculation using software to attain the recommended APL amount.

The amount of APL is calculated based on the net incomes of the parties. The net incomes of the parties is calculated by taking the gross pay then subtracting state, federal and local taxes, Social Security, unemployment compensation, alimony, and mandatory union dues.  Again, just as with spousal support, the Court has the ability to also assess an earning capacity for an individual based on his or her ability to earn income do to education skill and experience.

If there are dependent children then the APL is calculated based on 30% of the difference in the parties’ incomes after the payor pays child support. If there are no dependent children then the appeal is calculated based on 40% of the difference in the parties’ incomes.

In most cases, APL ends upon the entry of a divorce decree between the parties.  If support is to continue after the entry of a divorce decree then there may be an alimony order entered between the parties.

Stay tuned for further discussion about alimony, how it is calculated and ordered in Pennsylvania and what is the difference between alimony pendente lite and alimony.