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How to Address Spousal Maintenance in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Alimony / Maintenance

Kane County spousal maintenance lawyerDuring a divorce case, there are a wide variety of legal and financial issues that will need to be addressed. One key issue that may play a role in some divorces is the matter of financial support paid by one spouse to the other. This form of support, which is commonly known as alimony, is referred to as spousal maintenance in Illinois. Those who are going through the divorce process will want to be sure to understand the laws surrounding spousal maintenance and the situations in which it may be awarded. By working with an experienced divorce attorney, you can be sure this issue will be addressed correctly as you work to legally dissolve your marriage.

The Purpose of Spousal Maintenance

Contrary to popular belief, alimony is not meant to be a punishment or a reward for either spouse. Instead, it is intended to address disparities in the incomes earned by divorcing spouses. Following a divorce, spouses should be able to continue living at the standard they enjoyed while they were married, but this can be difficult or impossible for one spouse if the other spouse earned the majority of the family’s income. For a person who was reliant on their spouse to provide for their needs, receiving spousal maintenance will allow them to support themselves after their divorce while also giving them the means to obtain education, pursue employment, and become self-supporting.

When Will Spousal Maintenance Be Awarded?

During the divorce process, a spouse may petition the court for temporary maintenance. These payments can allow them to establish new living arrangements and pay ongoing expenses. When negotiating a divorce settlement or resolving matters through litigation, a spouse may ask that permanent maintenance be awarded. These payments will be made after the divorce is finalized, and in many cases, maintenance will be paid for a fixed amount of time. However, in some cases, maintenance may be reviewable, meaning that after a certain period of time, the court will look at the parties’ circumstances to determine whether payments should continue or be terminated or modified.

Illinois law specifies a number of factors that should be considered when determining whether maintenance should be awarded. In addition to each spouse’s income and financial resources, other relevant factors include the parties’ age and health, the standard of living during their marriage, and their ongoing needs. In many cases, maintenance will be more likely to be awarded if one spouse gave up career opportunities to focus on family responsibilities, assisted the other spouse in obtaining education or otherwise furthering their career, or has been allocated parental responsibilities that will affect their ability to earn an income going forward.

If maintenance is awarded, Illinois law uses a set formula to calculate the amount that will be paid based on the income earned by both parties. In cases involving fixed-term maintenance, the amount of time that payments will be made will be based on the length of the parties’ marriage. This removes any ambiguity about how much will be paid or how long a person will have to become self-supporting. However, spouses in high net worth divorce cases with a combined annual income of $500,000 or more should be aware that the statutory formulas will not apply, and if maintenance is awarded, an appropriate amount will be determined based on the specific facts of their case.

Contact Our St. Charles Spousal Maintenance Lawyers

A variety of financial issues and other concerns may determine whether maintenance will be awarded in your divorce. The lawyers of Goostree Law Group can advise you of your rights to ensure that this issue is addressed correctly throughout the divorce process, and that you can achieve results that will allow you to maintain financial stability. Contact our Kane County spousal support attorneys today at 630-584-4800 to set up a free consultation. 



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