Business & Corporate Law


Plans by the managing partner of a Pennsylvania law firm to wind down his career have become the subject of a precedential family law opinion in the state Superior Court.

The court ruled last week that Peter Speaker, managing partner of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer, would not be allowed to decrease his alimony payments to his ex-wife leading up to his retirement from the law firm.

“Without an imminent retirement date…and absent any evidence of an unfavorable change in [Speaker’s] current financial circumstance, [his] request for alimony modification is, at best, premature,” Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Alice Beck Dubow wrote in an 11-page opinion.

Michele Speaker argued that husband should not be allowed to decrease his alimony payments simply because of the desire to retire. The Superior Court agreed.

“Because [Speaker] has yet to retire or set an imminent date for retirement, he is unable to show any changed financial circumstances to serve as a basis for a substantial and continuing change necessary to modify his alimony award downward,” Dubow wrote. “In fact, [his] income has increased significantly since the entry of the original alimony order.”

Reference: Lizzy Mclellan, Pennsylvania Law Weekly Tuesday March 27, 2018, Speaker v. Speaker, PICS No. 18-0380.

Kindly visit our Family Law and Alimony/Spousal Support websites or contact one of our Family Law Attorneys or Divorce Attorneys, Philadelphia at 215-977-8200 for more information on this topic.