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4 Common Questions About Spousal Support in Illinois

Posted on in Alimony / Maintenance

Kane County spousal maintenance attorneyIf you are facing the possibility of a divorce, you and your spouse will need to resolve a number of issues. For many couples, property and money-related concerns are among the most challenging considerations. You have likely worked hard to earn what you have, so the possibility of “losing” your hard-earned assets during your divorce may not sit well with you. You may also be concerned about the possibility of paying maintenance—also known as spousal support or alimony—which can lead to disagreements as you are headed for a divorce.

Depending on where you are in the divorce process, you may have questions about spousal support and whether it will be a factor in your Illinois divorce. Some of the most frequently asked maintenance questions include:

Will Maintenance Be Awarded Automatically?

Under the law in Illinois, maintenance will only be granted following a divorce if the requesting spouse can prove that such support is needed to facilitate an equitable divorce. Maintenance is not automatic or guaranteed, and requesting it does not mean that it will necessarily be granted. If, however, you and your spouse already have a valid prenuptial agreement that says spousal support is to be paid, you can generally assume that the court will enforce the agreement.

How Will the Court Decide if Maintenance is Appropriate?

Illinois law provides more than a dozen factors that the court must take into account when determining the appropriateness of ordering maintenance. These include the income and needs of each spouse, how long you were married, and the standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage. The court will also consider the contributions each of you made to one another’s earning capacity and to the family overall.

How Are Maintenance Amounts Determined?

For couples who earn less than $500,000 annually and who have no child support or alimony orders from a prior relationship, the court will generally use a statutory formula to calculate the amount of maintenance to be paid. The formula is a weighted function of each spouse’s income, and there are limits on how much can be ordered. If your combined income is over $500,000 per year, if you have other obligations, or if the court finds that using the formula would be inappropriate for a valid reason, the court will set a payment amount based on the circumstances of the case.

How Long Will My Maintenance Order Last?

The duration of a spousal maintenance order will usually depend on how long your marriage lasted. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) contains a table for calculating the length of your award in a way that gives longer orders to those who were married longer. An order for maintenance is also likely to end if the spouse receiving the payments gets married again or moves in with a new partner.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If you have additional questions about spousal maintenance awards in an Illinois divorce, contact one of the experienced Kane County spousal support attorneys at Goostree Law Group today. Call 630-584-4800 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team. We will help you get the answers you need and provide the quality representation you deserve.



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