In Pennsylvania there are generally four types of support that one person can be required to pay to the other person in a family law case. The four types of support are:

  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Alimony Pendente Lite (APL)
  • Alimony

Alimony pendente lite, also referred to as APL, means “alimony pending litigation.” A divorce complaint must be filed to claim APL. There are differences between spousal support and APL which should be discussed with an attorney before filing a claim for either. For example, as long as a divorce complaint is filed, the parties generally do not have to be living in separate households to pursue a claim for APL. Also, the party being asked to pay APL loses most of the defenses they may have had to the payment of spousal support. APL is, however, governed by the same statewide guidelines and rules pertaining to spousal support.

A person can also claim alimony in Pennsylvania.  Alimony is the payment of support from one former spouse to another former spouse after the divorce decree has been issued. Alimony must be pursued and entered before the divorce decree is issued. The Pennsylvania Divorce Code contains factors the court must consider in deciding an alimony claim.  Although “alimony” may sound like “alimony pendente lite,” they are very different. For example, the formula in the statewide guidelines and rules used to determine spousal support and APL do not govern alimony.

This short summary on APL and alimony is not intended to provide legal advice and you should speak to an attorney about your individual situation. There is much more to filing a claim for APL or alimony than can be described in this limited space. Please feel free to contact me via email or by telephone to schedule an appointment to discuss this claim further.