As you come to terms with entering into divorce proceedings, you may have a lot of questions. One such question may be whether you will receive alimony. This may be a topic you and your spouse can mutually decide, finding a balance you both consider acceptable. However, if you cannot reach a mutual agreement, a judge may intervene to decide whether either of you will receive alimony. 

There are many factors a judge may consider when deciding a person’s need and eligibility for alimony. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a starting place to help you get acquainted with some of the basics. 

Do you have a financial need? 

One factor in a judge’s decision is financial need. Per Pennsylvania law, financial need may involve a number of factors, including education level, income level and other assets, such as inheritance. 

Assets and income are fairly self-explanatory. However, education is on the list because it may indicate your ability to pursue jobs that provide adequate support. If your career options will not allow you to attain the standard of living that you and your spouse had during the marriage, you may receive alimony until you have acquired the education or training you need. 

Are you living with a new romantic partner, or planning to? 

Pennsylvania law will bar you from receiving alimony if you live with a person of the opposite sex who is not a blood relation. Note that this rule applies even if you have not married the new person you live with.