Tag Archives: alimony award

maintenance in Illinois, Illinois Family Law AttorneyUpon divorce in Illinois, it is possible that one spouse may be awarded, and the other spouse ordered to pay, maintenance. Maintenance is support for one spouse from the resources of the other spouse. The issue of whether, and in what amount, maintenance may be awarded is often a critical issue for divorcing couples.

Types of Maintenance 

The most significant form of maintenance is permanent or indefinite maintenance, which is awarded when it is unlikely that a spouse will ever be able to find and secure sufficient employment from which to support themselves. A spouse may not be able to secure employment because he or she suffers from a serious illness. Or, he or she may have forgone employment or education in order to care for the home, particularly if children are involved.

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illinois alimony modificaionIn a divorce proceeding, a court can sometimes award one spouse maintenance. This is a monetary award usually paid monthly by one divorcing spouse, which is supposed to help support the other divorcing spouse. Spousal support can be awarded to either spouse, and is based on the facts of a case and a judge's consideration of certain factors provided by the law. Divorcing parties can also come together and agree to the amount of support to be paid based on negotiations, or on a prior document such as a prenuptial agreement. Spousal maintenance is not awarded based on which spouse was at fault for the demise of the marriage.

Modification May Be Necessary

Sometimes, the spouse ordered to pay support may find that for one reason or another, they are not able to keep up with the maintenance payments. According to Illinois law, 750 ILCS 5/502(f), whether or not a spousal maintenance order is modifiable depends on whether or not the order was stated to be non-modifiable. For example, if the award was as a result of an agreement between the spouses, they could have agreed to have spousal maintenance in place for a specific period of time, and made the award non-modifiable.

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