While it is not ordered in every divorce case, spousal maintenance (which may also be known as alimony or spousal support) can be an important factor for some couples. This form of financial support will allow a spouse who relied primarily on their partner’s income during their marriage to support themselves and maintain their lifestyle. However, spousal maintenance will usually only last temporarily, so it is important to understand when it will end and make plans accordingly.
Types of Spousal Maintenance
Depending on a couple’s situation, different types of spousal support may be awarded, and the type of maintenance will affect how long it will be paid. These types include:
Temporary maintenance – One spouse may be required to pay support to the other during the divorce process to ensure that they will be able to cover their ongoing expenses. These payments will be terminated when the divorce is finalized, and at that point, any support arrangements included in the divorce decree or judgment will go into effect.
Fixed-term maintenance – Most of the time, a divorce decree will state that maintenance will be paid for a specific amount of time. This duration is calculated using a percentage of the length of time the couple was married.
Indefinite maintenance – If a couple was married for at least 20 years, or if the spouse who will be receiving maintenance has a disability or other circumstances that affect their ability to earn an income, maintenance may last indefinitely.
Reviewable maintenance – In some cases, a divorce decree or judgment may state that maintenance will be paid for a certain amount of time, after which the court will review the case to determine whether support should be extended, modified, or terminated. This type of arrangement may be used to ensure that the spouse receiving maintenance can pursue education or obtain training that will allow them to support themselves financially.
While maintenance will usually be paid for as long as it was ordered in a divorce decree, a former spouse may file a petition to have the payments modified or terminated based on a significant change in either party’s circumstances. Maintenance will be automatically terminated if the recipient remarries, and it can also be terminated if they begin living together with a new romantic partner while remaining unmarried. Maintenance will be terminated upon the death of either party, although a divorce decree may address the loss of support in these situations by requiring the paying spouse to obtain a life insurance policy that would provide death benefits to their former spouse.
Contact Our Naperville Spousal Maintenance Attorneys
If you believe that your spouse should pay you financial support, or if you may be required to pay maintenance to your spouse, you will want to make sure this issue is addressed properly during your divorce. At Calabrese Associates, P.C., we can advise you of how the law applies to you, and we will advocate for your financial interests throughout the divorce process. To learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals in your divorce, contact our DuPage County spousal support lawyers at 630-393-3111.