Will I Have To Pay Spousal Support Forever?

spousal supportQuestion:

Will I have to pay spousal support forever on a marriage that lasted 15 years? I make $100,000 and my ex-wife makes $35,000. 


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I practice in Pennsylvania, when a divorce is finalized, the court has to decide whether there is an alimony award or not. Alimony typically comes from the financially superior spouse to the financially dependent spouse. The duration of alimony is decided by the court, and usually has a termination date.

Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan
Cordell & Cordell Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan, IV

In generating the amount and term of alimony, the court is required to look at seventeen (17) factors outlined in the Divorce Code, see 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 3701(b), including the length of the marriage, marital misconduct, the relative assets and debts of the parties, and the earnings and earning capacities of the parties. The decision on alimony is a very fact-specific inquiry to be made by the court that will vary from case to case.

Therefore, due to the extremely fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how your state’s laws can specifically help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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5 comments on “Will I Have To Pay Spousal Support Forever?

    If you don’t like paying alimony stay married. Until death do us part. That was the agreement you all made. If you’re unwilling to uphold your commitment then you should pay until death. If a spouse is unwilling to uphold their end then she should pay until death. These idiotic no fault divorces have ruined the family. Only by making a person financially responsible if they leave will this slow down the hopping from family to family.

    This a great question that many people have when going through a divorce. Every situation is unique, and there are many factors that go into a spousal support agreement. It is wise to consult a lawyer, and discuss how your situation could be handled in the best way possible.

    I agree with Anthony. I am in the same situation. My-ex wife has done the same thing. She has a degree and will not work. She states that since she stayed home for several years, she is not able to get a job. It has been 2 1/2 years and she still refuses to become self-supporting even though she was given the Gavron warning. I have been out of work a couple times since the divorce, but am now making more. As a response to trying to impute her income, she now wants more from me. She is the one who quite the marriage and also had hidden accounts during the marriage.

    Yes, the rulings are archaic. If they decide to go their separate ways, then let each person be responsible for his/her own income. If one person breaks the marriage, the other should not be required to support that person.

    I don’t think there should be national reform, as there would be no need for separate states if that were to happen, but I think the states should set precedence of making these slugs work, and if they would, there might be fewer divorces as a result of people not thinking they can just quit and get money. It would either be fewer divorces or fewer marriages that should never happen.

    I am sure you don’t practice in Mississippi but do you know if there is any reform talks nationally or for the state? Permanent alimony for a spouse that had a college degree but just is to lazy to work is ridiculous and judges being able to make rulings that penalize the husband for life are archaic.

    It gets worse. I am retired and still pay and much longer than the marriage. Your savings get depleted. There is nothing that can be done until your savings are gone

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