Many things can be difficult to anticipate in an Illinois divorce, but spousal maintenance – also known as alimony or spousal support – does not have to be. While every divorce is made up of its own unique problems and solutions, Illinois courts must consider several factors when determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate and they use specific formulas to determine the amount. If you are getting divorced in DuPage County and wondering whether you will pay or receive alimony, read this helpful blog post and then contact an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you with your case.
Income and Property
Courts will look carefully at the income of each spouse, as well as the potential earning power a spouse would have if they were fully employed. Because some spouses stay out of the workforce to raise children and keep a home, courts will consider whether divorce would put a homemaker spouse in a destitute financial situation and adjust spousal maintenance payments accordingly. Courts will also consider how long it would take a dependent spouse to get back on their feet after obtaining adequate training or education; if it is unclear how long it would take, or if there are young children whose needs would prevent a spouse from immediately seeking employment, courts can order fixed-term maintenance that is subject to review after a predetermined period of time.
Needs of Each Spouse
Each spouse will have varying needs, and the court looks at each spouse’s needs equally. Does the receiving spouse really need financial support? Can the paying spouse afford to pay? The court can determine which needs are reasonable, including whether it is appropriate to permit the receiving spouse to continue the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
Length of Marriage
The longer a couple has been married, the longer spousal maintenance payments may be awarded. For example, for couples with marriages lasting less than five years, spousal maintenance payments may only last for 20 percent of the length of the marriage. For couples married more than 20 years or longer, payments can last up to 20 years and even indefinitely. Between five and 20 years, the length of maintenance increases commensurate with the length of the marriage.
Contact an Experienced Wheaton, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
For help managing negotiations over spousal maintenance in your Illinois divorce, contact a skilled and assertive DuPage County alimony attorney with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. We advocate passionately for our clients and will use our experience and knowledge of Illinois law to ensure you achieve a favorable divorce decree. Call us today at 630-462-9500 to schedule an initial consultation.