I’ve been married for about eight months and have no children. If we divorce, will my wife be eligible for spousal maintenance?
Please note that I am licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my knowledge and experience in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, there are three types of spousal maintenance: spousal support (prior to the initiation of divorce), alimony pendente lite/APL (support during the divorce), and alimony (support paid after the divorce).
In this state, if the parties are living separate and apart, the dependent spouse can apply for spousal support or APL regardless of the length of the marriage. That support will then last until the divorce decree has been entered.
With regard to alimony, or support paid post-divorce, the general rule of thumb is that the higher wage earner is to pay one year of alimony for every three years of marriage; in this state, a marriage less than three years will not entitle the opposing party to alimony, particularly if spousal support or APL has been paid.
In this state, as the date of separation is preserved by filing the divorce complaint, it is in the higher wage earner’s interests to file the divorce complaint at the earliest opportunity.
You should consult with an attorney licensed in your state to discuss the facts of your case and your state’s approach to divorce and support matters.