Child Custody and the “New Normal”
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives seemingly overnight. We should not expect it stop short of effecting child custody disputes and possibly send them into a tailspin.
It’s older than the Roman Empire, predates the birth of Socrates and Aristotle and had been around for 1,000 years at the time of the first Olympic games.
The point is, humans have long held that alimony – financial support from one spouse to another in the wake of a divorce – is a good idea.
But how is alimony determined? There’s no simple formula. Courts in Pennsylvania will typically have an ex-spouse pay three types of support during a divorce:
How is alimony determined?
Under Pennsylvania state law, the question “How is alimony determined” is answered according to quite a few different factors:
What are the tax implications of alimony?
Currently, until the end of 2018, if you are receiving alimony payments, that counts as a form of income. You’ll need to declare it when you file your tax return. But if you’re the person paying alimony, you can deduct those payments from your yearly tax return. This tax implication will change, effective January 1, 2019, so be sure to consult with your tax preparer for up-to-date information under the new tax law.
How is alimony different from child support?
Unlike alimony, a court will determine child support based solely on the existence of children and who has custody of those children. In most states, the parent who doesn’t have custody will owe the primary caregiver child support payments.
How long will alimony last?
In Pennsylvania, a court can order alimony to end at a fixed date, or it may be open-ended. Courts can review and change their orders depending on new circumstances. For example, the person paying alimony might suddenly become ill or incapacitated or experience a sharp drop in their income.
And alimony will stop automatically when the person receiving payments remarries, dies or begins living with someone of the opposite sex who is not a family member.
Are you facing a divorce proceeding and unsure about your future? Turn to the attorneys of Penglase & Benson.
We’ve spent years dealing with questions like “How is alimony determined?” and “Will I need to pay child support?” and other matters related to divorce and can work to make sure your voice is heard during the proceedings. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.