Alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance are all terms used to describe the financial support a spouse pays to another spouse during or after a divorce. The laws about spousal maintenance vary from state to state. In Illinois, maintenance may be ordered by the court, or the spouses can negotiate a spousal maintenance agreement as a part of their divorce settlement.
If you are getting divorced in Illinois, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding spousal maintenance.
Parties May Negotiate a Spousal Maintenance Agreement
In Illinois, the spouses themselves can negotiate a spousal maintenance agreement during the divorce process. The agreement will be binding on both parties and is often used when the spouses are able to come to an understanding without court intervention. Some spouses find mediation helpful for negotiating the terms of a spousal maintenance agreement.
The Court May Order Spousal Maintenance
If spouses are unable to reach an agreement, the court will decide whether alimony is appropriate in the case. The court may consider factors such as each party’s ability to meet their own needs, the length of the marriage, the age and physical condition of each party, the earning capacity of each party, any dissipation (waste) of marital assets, and any relevant contributions to the education or training of either spouse.
The court will also consider whether one spouse is more dependent than the other financially. For example, if one spouse has been out of the workforce for an extended period in order to raise children or care for family members, that spouse may be more dependent and might receive spousal maintenance.
The Amount of Spousal Maintenance is Often Determined by a Formula
If the court orders maintenance, the court will likely use a mathematical formula to determine the amount of spousal maintenance a spouse receives. The formula takes into consideration both spouses’ net incomes.
Spousal maintenance is usually temporary. The court will determine the length of time that payments must be made. In some cases, maintenance may continue until a spouse dies or remarries, but usually spousal maintenance only continues for a set number of years after the divorce is final. The longer a couple was married, the longer the recipient is entitled to maintenance payments.
If your case involves spousal maintenance, you should seek legal advice to understand your rights. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on the options available to you and help you negotiate a settlement that meets your needs.
Contact a Lombard Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
Established in 1979, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices has built a reputation as a dependable, high-quality law firm, providing sound legal guidance and support to clients. Our Bloomingdale divorce attorneys can protect your rights and help you through the divorce process from beginning to end.
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