Alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance are all terms that describe financial support an ex-spouse pays to another ex-spouse. Traditionally, spousal support was paid to wives after a divorce. Women commonly spent their marriages caring for their families and maintaining the home. They often did not have the education or work experience needed to get a job and become financially independent from their husbands. However, times have changed, and many women are now the breadwinners of their families.
If you are getting divorced, you may be curious about your rights and responsibilities regarding spousal maintenance. Spousal support or maintenance may be awarded in an Illinois divorce to spouses of either gender under certain circumstances. Read on to learn more.
Spousal Support Entitlement During Divorce
In Illinois, spousal maintenance can be awarded by the court or negotiated between the spouses. Spouses who chose to draft prenuptial agreements may have pre-agreed upon terms regarding maintenance. In the absence of an agreement like this, spouses have two main options. They may be able to negotiate the amount and duration of maintenance payments during mediation or through their respective attorneys. Alternatively, spouses may petition the court for maintenance.
Illinois law does not discriminate between men and women with regard to divorce and spousal maintenance. Both men and women may be entitled to maintenance. Illinois courts assess many different factors when deciding whether or not to award spousal maintenance, including:
Each spouse’s income, earning capacity, and property
Each spouse’s health and financial needs
How a spouse contributed to the other spouse’s education and career
The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
The length of the marriage
Tax implications of the property division terms
Amount and Duration of Maintenance
If a court decides that maintenance is appropriate, the next step is determining the amount and duration of maintenance payments. The amount of maintenance a spouse can receive is usually based on a statutory formula. Both spouses’ net incomes are used to calculate a reasonable payment amount. Maintenance is usually temporary and based on the length of the marriage. If a couple was married more than 20 years, a spouse may be entitled to permanent maintenance. If the recipient spouse gets remarried, his or her entitlement to maintenance terminates.
Contact a Crystal Lake Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
The McHenry County divorce attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC can help you negotiate spousal maintenance terms, petition the court for maintenance, and address other divorce issues. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation.