SPOUSAL SUPPORT VS. ALIMONY PENDENTE LITE – THE BASICS
If you are going through a separation or divorce in Pennsylvania, you may be confused when it comes to spousal support, alimony pendente lite and alimony. Let me explain some of the basic differences between the three to try and make the concepts a bit clearer.
Spousal support is based on the nature of the relationship, i.e. a marriage, and the duty to support the dependent spouse arises from that relationship. The support amount is determined by statute, and that amount is considered to be the minimal amount owed. Spousal support will terminate upon divorce, or when the recipient commits certain acts that would constitute grounds for a fault divorce. Spousal support can’t be sought when the party asking for support is still co-habitating with the other spouse because it
Alimony pendente lite literally is money that is paid to the dependent spouse during the pendency of a divorce. And this brings us to a major distinction between spousal support and “APL” – spousal support does not require that a divorce proceeding be pending. APL does require that a divorce be pending.
It should also be noted that a party can receive either spousal support or alimony pendente lite – not both.