Clients involved in a divorce proceeding frequently want to know what, if anything, will cheating on a spouse ultimately cost. In Pennsylvania, the Court may award alimony, “as it deems reasonable,” if it finds that alimony is necessary based upon various factors that are designed to aid in determining the nature, amount, duration, and manner of the payment of alimony. The seventeen factors are contained in a state statute, 23 Pa.C.S. Section 3701, and are as follows:
(1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.
(2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.
(3) The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
(4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.
(5) The duration of the marriage.
(6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child.
(8) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
(9) The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.
(11) The property brought to the marriage by either party.
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.
(13) The relative needs of the parties.
(14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph, “abuse” shall have the meaning given to it under Section 6102 (relating to definitions).
(15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.
(16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs.
(17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.
Although one of the seventeen factors is the marital misconduct of the parties during the marriage (which includes having an affair), there are sixteen other factors taken into consideration by the Pennsylvania courts. Much to the surprise of clients, the court often places far more emphasis on the financial status of the parties, who has custody of the children, and the health of the parties, relegating marital infidelity to simply one issue for consideration.
Contact Bagby & Associates LLC , Main Line Attorneys, for your legal needs.
For a consultation with our experienced Pennsylvania family law or civil appeals lawyers, contact Bagby & Associates, by email, phone, or through this website. We represent clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia Main Line (Merion, Narberth, Gladwyne, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Villanova, St. David's, Radnor, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, and Paoli) and the communities of Newtown Square, Malvern, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, Reading, Doylestown, West Chester, Media, Lancaster, Allentown, Stroudsburg, Norristown, and Easton.
Our lawyers regularly appear in the courts of Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Lehigh County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Northampton County and Philadelphia County, as well as Federal Court.