Getting Divorced in Illinois? Make Sure You Understand Alimony Laws
Getting divorced can significantly change your financial situation. This is especially true for disabled spouses, homemakers, and stay-at-home parents. Alimony, also known as “spousal maintenance” in Illinois law, is financial support that a spouse provides the other spouse during or after divorce. If you are getting divorced in Illinois, it is essential to know how and when spousal maintenance is awarded.
Why Spousal Maintenance is Awarded in Illinois
The purpose of spousal maintenance is to minimize the negative financial impact a divorce has on a spouse who is unable to support themselves without assistance. A divorcing spouse may also be entitled to spousal maintenance through an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Spouses may also request spousal maintenance from the court. When deciding whether to award spousal support, Illinois judges consider the spouses’ financial and employment circumstances as well as factors such as:
- The spouses’ future earning capabilities
- Each party’s financial needs
- How long it will take for the spouse requesting alimony to become financially self-supporting
- The length of the marriage and the standard of living in the marriage
- Whether a spouse contributed to the advancement of the other spouse’s education and career
The Amount That a Spouse Receives in Alimony
If the court determines that a spouse is entitled to alimony based on the factors listed above, the next step is to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance payments. Sometimes, spouses can agree on a spousal maintenance arrangement. Collaborative law and mediation are methods of dispute resolution that may help a divorcing couple avoid litigation and reach an agreement. In other cases, the court determines maintenance payments using a statutory formula. The court may deviate from this formula if the spouses’ combined yearly net income is greater than $500,000 or if the circumstances necessitate deviation.
Duration of Spousal Maintenance
Spouses may petition the court for spousal maintenance during the divorce process through a “temporary relief” order. A formula usually determines the duration of post-divorce maintenance. The longer the spouses were married, the longer the spousal maintenance payments will continue. Spousal maintenance automatically ends if the spouse who is receiving alimony gets remarried. If the recipient lives with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the paying spouse may petition the court to terminate his or her maintenance obligation.
Contact a DuPage County Alimony Lawyer
If you are getting divorced and have further questions or concerns about spousal maintenance, the skilled Wheaton divorce lawyers at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can help. Call us today at 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation.