What Kind of Divorce Issues Might a Court Deal With?

Divorce issues that a court might deal with in particular situations:

  • Child support – support given to the parent who typically has custody of the child(ren) of the parties
  • Spousal support – support to the spouse who has less income, awarded if the parties are separated, and prior to a divorce being filed or granted
  • Alimony pendente lite – this is similar to spousal support, but is awarded after a divorce complaint has been filed but before a divorce is granted
  • Alimony – support given to a spouse after a divorce is granted
  • Child custody – the determination of the parenting arrangements for the children
  • Equitable Distribution – the distribution of the property and debts of the parties between the parties. As the court seeks to achieve a fair distribution, the court does not necessarily have to direct an “equal” distribution between the spouses
  • Counsel Fees & Expenses – the court can direct that one spouse pays all or part of the other spouses attorney fees and costs

Note: Pennsylvania has support guidelines (Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.16) to help determine the amount of child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite that can be awarded. There are no specific monetary guidelines for alimony. These guidelines can be deviated from to include additional money for a spouse to remain in the marital home and pay the mortgage, for extra-curricular activities for the children, for private school tuition, daycare, unreimbursed medical costs or prescription co-pays, or for other matters that the court may consider under the law.