In the recent case of Leicht v. Leicht, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld an award of indefinite alimony to the wife, with no set end date.
The couple married in 1988 and divorced in 2016. The husband worked in manufacturing jobs. The wife was employed as a licensed practical nurse, but developed mental health issues in 2009 that rendered her unable to work, resulting in the receipt of disability benefits. The trial court ordered the husband to pay $585 to the wife each month, indefinitely.
The husband appealed, arguing that the trial court should not have directed indefinite alimony payments, particularly where the wife had become eligible for disability benefits. The Superior Court disagreed and upheld the award, noting that the alimony provisions of the Pennsylvania Code are designed to ensure that the reasonable needs of a dependent spouse are met, and that government benefits are designed to supplement – rather than replace – other resources to which a spouse is entitled. Even though the alimony award had no fixed ending date, the husband could seek a modification or termination at a later time if there occurred g a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.
In this case, advanced planning or a prenuptial agreement may have produced a different outcome.
For more information and a consultation, contact our Law Firm, Supinka & Supinka, PC.