Why do I have to pay alimony while our divorce is pending?

mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

Why am I being forced to pay alimony to my wife when we are still married and our divorce is not finalized?

Does this mean I will have to continue paying her alimony even after we’re divorced?


I can only answer your question based on my knowledge of the laws of the state where I am licensed.

In Pennsylvania, when a divorce complaint has been filed and no decree in divorce has been entered, there is no defense to paying support.

The type of support you are currently paying your wife is called “alimony pendente lite,” which is Latin for “alimony pending litigation.”

The purpose of this support payment is to allow the financially dependent party, in this case your wife, the ability to maintain financial footing to pursue the divorce litigation.

When the divorce litigation is over, i.e. when you receive your final decree in divorce, you will stop owing alimony pendente lite.

If you continue to owe her support after the decree has been entered, the support payments will be called “alimony.”  It will be up to your marital settlement agreement whether or not you will owe alimony.

Keep in mind, however, that if your wife begins living with this new paramour, she would defeat her own potential entitlement to any additional support payments.

If you need detailed information or advice, or wish to take specific action in this matter, you need to contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients and nationwide.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Margaret M. Daly, a Staff Attorney in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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