Regardless of the specific circumstances of your case, your divorce is likely to be a stressful experience. Separating from your spouse will require you to make major changes in your life, and the way you handle your finances will need to be adjusted. As you determine how to address financial issues during and after your divorce, you may need to look at the role that spousal support will play in your case. Spousal support, which is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, is financial support that is provided by one spouse to the other, and it may be paid both during the divorce process and for a certain amount of time after a divorce is finalized. By understanding how spousal maintenance is handled in Illinois divorce cases, you can make sure arrangements will be put in place that will ensure your ongoing financial success.
When Will Spousal Support Be Awarded in an Illinois Divorce?
In Illinois, spousal maintenance will generally only be appropriate if financial support is necessary to help one spouse maintain a standard of living that is similar to that they had during their marriage. That is, spousal support is based on need, and it will not be awarded as a penalty for any actions taken by either spouse during their marriage or divorce.
Usually, a person will request spousal support if they believe that they will be unable to fully meet their own needs after separating from their spouse. If there is a significant disparity in the incomes earned by each party, spousal maintenance may be appropriate to ensure that the lower-earning spouse will be able to maintain their standard of living. Spousal support may also be appropriate in situations where one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent or has been out of the workforce while they were married. In addition to situations where a spouse asks the court to award spousal support, there are cases where a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may state that alimony will be paid in the event of divorce, and these agreements will usually be followed unless they would be especially unfair to one party.
The court will consider several factors when deciding whether spousal support should be awarded. Some of these factors include:
The length of the marriage
The income and property of each spouse
The needs of each spouse
The health and age of each spouse
The standard of living during the marriage
The ability of each spouse to earn an income based on their education, work experience, or factors that may limit their employment, such as the need to provide care for children
Contributions by the spouse seeking spousal support to the education or career of the other spouse
If the court determines that spousal maintenance should be awarded, a statutory formula will typically be used to calculate the amount that one spouse will pay to the other. This formula takes the net income earned by each spouse into account. The duration of spousal maintenance, which is the amount of time that the payments will last, will be calculated based on a percentage of the amount of time that the couple was married.
Types of Spousal Support in Illinois
In most cases, spousal support awarded in an Illinois divorce will take the form of fixed-term maintenance. That is, support will be paid for a specified period of time, and payments will cease once this period is completed. However, other types of spousal support may be appropriate depending on the situation.
In some cases, maintenance may be reviewable, meaning that it will be paid for a certain period of time, after which the court will review the case to determine whether payments should continue. This form of spousal support may be appropriate if one spouse will require some time to be able to support themselves. Maintenance may be paid while that spouse is pursuing an education or taking other steps to seek employment. When reviewing a maintenance agreement, the court will determine whether additional time will be needed or whether spousal support should be terminated because the person can now support themselves.
Indefinite or permanent spousal support may be awarded in certain situations. This may be appropriate in cases where a couple has been married for 20 years or more or in situations where a spouse has physical or mental disabilities that prevent them from being able to fully support themselves.
Contact Our Bloomingdale Spousal Maintenance Attorneys
Spousal support can be a complex issue to address during the divorce process, and it may be affected by other financial matters, such as the division of marital property. If you are preparing for a divorce and believe that spousal support will be a factor in your case, it is essential to consult with an attorney who can help you understand your rights under the law. At [[title]], our DuPage County spousal support lawyers can help ensure that your best interests will be protected in the decisions made during your divorce, and we will advocate for solutions that will allow you to move forward successfully into the next chapter of your life. Contact us at [[phone]] to arrange a free consultation.