Rolling Meadows divorce attorney for spousal maintenanceOne of the many considerations that commonly arise during divorce is the issue of spousal support, which is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance. In years past, spousal support was more common than it is now, simply because our culture and society were different. In many cases, it was not uncommon for women, in particular, to stay home to raise children and take care of the household while the man worked outside of the home to financially support the family.

While this may have worked during the marriage, it tended to create financial dependence, causing issues if the couple ended up getting divorced. Rather than leaving the woman to fend for herself, spousal maintenance was created, requiring the working spouse to contribute a portion of his or her income to help support their former spouse until they can get back on their feet. In today’s world, spousal support is less common than it used to be, but it is still an issue that can arise, and it can lead to contentious disputes between divorcing spouses.

Awarding Spousal Support in Divorce

Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in all Illinois divorces. There will be some cases in which spousal support would not be appropriate, such as if both spouses have jobs and earn enough income to support themselves. If the issue of spousal support is contested, a judge will determine if a spousal maintenance award is necessary. To do this, he or she will look at a variety of factors that may include things like you and your spouse’s income, each of your present and realistic earning capacities, how long your marriage lasted, and each of your needs.

Length of Support

In divorces that involve uncontested spousal maintenance, meaning both spouses agree on the terms of the support, you can make your own decision as to how long the spousal support should last. However, if spousal support is contested, a judge will also determine the duration of the support based on Illinois law. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) contains a formula that bases the duration of spousal support payments on the duration of a couple’s marriage.

For example, if you were married to your spouse for 15-16 years, you would multiply the length of your marriage in years by .64 to determine how many years you would receive support for. For marriages that lasted 20 years or more, spousal maintenance can be awarded for a number of years equal to the marriage, or for an indefinite period of time.

Contact a Hoffman Estates Spousal Support Attorney Today

If you are wondering whether spousal support will play a role in your divorce, you should speak with our Mt. Prospect, IL spousal maintenance lawyer. At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we will help you understand your rights regarding support, and we will advocate for your interests throughout the divorce process. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 to schedule a free consultation.