Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Posts tagged "APL"

APL

Alimony Pendente Lite, or APL, is spousal support while the divorce is pending. A party may petition for APL at the same time as the divorce complaint or any time thereafter prior to the entry of a final decree. The purpose of APL is to ensure each party has the ability to sustain themselves during the divorce. A party seeking APL should be ready to prove they lack sufficient property to provide for their reasonable means and are financially unable of self-support during the pendency of the divorce litigation. It is the income-dependent spouse who would have the opportunity to receive APL. The court may consider the duration of the marriage in making any award. This is to ensure one party does not benefit from a significant support award in the context of a very short marriage.

Mortgage Deviations in Support

Mortgage payments may be considered in the course of establishing a support award. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-6 covers adjustment to basic support awards and allocation of additional expenses. Under sub-section (e) mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and homeowners' insurance may need to be considered. Second mortgages, home equity loans and other obligations secured by the marital residence may be considered but are within the discretion of the court and addressed on a case-by-case basis. The expenses to maintain the marital residence can be considered if the total expense exceeds 25% of the obligee's (party receiving support ) or obligor's (party paying support) income. If the obligee is in the marital residence and paying the mortgage, the court would look to see if the mortgage payment exceeds 25% of the obligee's income after considering the basic support award. If the mortgage is still more than 25% the court can direct the obligor to assume up to 50% of the excess resulting in an increased support award.

Support Exceptions

In a support matter, the incomes of the parties will be used to calculate an appropriate award based on the support guidelines applicable throughout the commonwealth. In the event there is a disagreement over the entry of an interim support order, a party has the option of filing exceptions. Pursuant to Pa. R.C.P. 1910.12, parties have twenty (20) days from the entry of an order to file exceptions. Exceptions may address objections to evidence, findings of facts, conclusions of law, or any other matters occurring during the hearing. Each issue should be raised separately as an exception. Each exception should be concise and without lengthy discussion. Issues that are not raised in the exceptions are deemed waived. Examples of appropriate exceptions would include claims that the incomes and/or expenses were not correctly calculated, special circumstances were not considered, or there was an error in assigning an earning capacity. It is not appropriate to file exceptions simply because you do not agree with the guideline amount.

Alimony Pendente Lite

Alimony Pendente Lite, or APL, is spousal support while the divorce is pending. A party may petition for APL at the same time as the divorce complaint or any time thereafter prior to the entry of a final decree. The purpose of APL is to ensure each party has the ability to sustain themselves during the divorce. A party seeking APL should be ready to prove they lack sufficient property to provide for their reasonable means and are financially unable to support themself during the pendency of the divorce litigation. It is the income-dependent spouse who would have the opportunity to receive APL.

Social Security Disability Benefits

The issue of social security disability benefits may arise in the context of a support action. Support actions in Pennsylvania are governed by a statewide guideline amount that correlates with the ability to pay. Ultimately, any support award will be based on the net incomes of the parties involved. Social security disability benefits are recognized as a source of income pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-2. This is distinguishable from public assistance and supplemental security income (SSI) which are not included as income for purposes of support.

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