Ask A Lawyer: If She Stays In The House, Do I Pay Extra Spousal Support?


My wife and I are in the process of working out an amicable divorce. We are planning on going the “no fault” route.

I am being told (by a relative who is an attorney helping us prepare for the filing) that if she stays in the house, I would have to pay extra spousal support. In addition, she would not be required to refinance the house, buying me out. Is this true?

It certainly doesn’t seem right that we would build equity in the house together over the years we have lived in it and, after the divorce, I would still help her build equity!




Pennsylvania does have a provision called “spousal maintenance pendente lite” (spousal maintenance during the pendency of the action).  Your friend or another Pennsylvania licensed lawyer should be able to calculate this with you.  Also, Pennsylvania does not require post-divorce maintenance or alimony, although it is an option.  Finally, the equity in the house, including the equity that builds while the divorce is proceeding,  is taken into consideration in the final distribution of the marital estate.  She may not be required to refinance, but she also does not get all the equity.


Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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