It’s critical to understand how alimony — often called spousal support — works in Pennsylvania. After all, if you or your ex are ordered to pay, it becomes a legal obligation that can have a lasting impact on your financial situation for years to come.

With that in mind, these are some of the main factors that influence whether or not alimony has to be paid and how much those payments will be:

— The age of the former spouse. At a certain age, it may be deemed far harder for a person to get back into the workforce if he or she has left for a time.

— How long it would take for the person to become self-sufficient again, if at all. Would he or she need to go to college or get extensive training to start a new career?

— The spouse’s physical and financial condition. If the spouse is physical disabled and cannot work, for instance, that could play a huge role. So could any inheritance money that has been passed on, which could perhaps allow a person to support himself or herself without a job.

— The standard of living that the couple had. The goal is to give both people something close to that same expected standard of living.

— Whether or not the person who is ordered to pay can still support himself or herself after making the payments.

— How long the two were married.

Do you have any questions about how spousal support is paid, how long it will last, or your basic rights during a divorce? If so, our website is very informative and may help you find the answers.