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DuPage County divorce attorneysEnding a marriage is difficult no matter who you are, but those getting divorced after not working outside of the home in many years face added challenges. If you are considering divorce and are a homemaker or stay-at-home mother or father, you probably have many questions. Will I be awarded spousal support even if I initiate the divorce? How can I find a job to support myself without work experience? Will I receive additional child support because I do not have a job?

The answer to many of these questions will depend on your unique circumstances. If you are a stay-at-home parent or have otherwise not worked outside of the home and plan to divorce, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

You May Qualify for Spousal Maintenance

When deciding whether or not to award spousal maintenance, Illinois courts consider many factors. These include, but are not limited to:

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DuPage County family law attorneySince 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) has included a specific formula for divorce courts to use when calculating how much one spouse must pay to the other in the form of maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony. The formula is based on each spouse’s annual income and is intended to provide additional support for spouses who earn substantially less than their partners earn. When the formula was created in 2016, it was meant to be applied in situations where the spouses earned less than $250,000 per year combined. Thanks to an update to the law that was passed last year, the formula must now be used in many more situations.

Determining the Need for Maintenance

Maintenance is not automatic in an Illinois divorce. The judge presiding over a particular case must determine if a bona fide need for spousal support exists. In making that determination, the court will consider a number of factors, including each spouse’s age, health, income, and employability, as well as the arrangements that have been made for the couple’s children, if any. The court must also take into account the length of the marriage, the standard of living established, and sacrifices or contributions made by either spouse to the other’s career.

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Illinois divorce attorneys, stop spousal support

Maintenance in Illinois usually takes the form of either a lump sum payment or periodic payments over a period of time. Under Illinois law maintenance terminates upon remarriage and/or cohabitation of the spouse receiving maintenance with an adult individual on a continuous conjugal basis.

Under Illinois law, once a marriage ceremony has been performed, spousal support terminates. Compared to a remarriage situation, support issues regarding cohabitation are more vague and complex. If one spouse can show that the other is living with someone else “on a resident, continuing conjugal basis,” then he or she can petition to have maintenance payments terminated. However, cohabitation is not as defined as remarriage.

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receive maintenance after cheating, Illinois divorce attorneysMarriages end for a variety of reasons. One such reason is infidelity. According to a national study, 55 percent of survey participants stated that they divorced their spouse due to infidelity. Despite the cause, divorce is generally an emotional process for all parties involved. Furthermore, many couples facing divorce must determine whether either spouse will receive spousal support or maintenance after a marriage ends. In this situation, one question often arises: does the infidelity of a spouse have an impact on maintenance?

What is Maintenance?

Maintenance, formerly referred to as alimony, is an amount of money, typically paid monthly, that a judge may award to one party in a divorce action. In general, maintenance aims to put both spouses on relatively equal economic footing after a divorce. The spouse who made less or no money while married will typically petition to receive maintenance. Additionally, a spouse may petition for maintenance so that he or she can continue paying living expenses after obtaining a divorce.

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MKFM Law, new spousal support, spousal support, spousal support calculations, Wheaton divorce attorneyUntil recently, the calculation of spousal support in Illinois was based on a judge's discretion after the consideration of several factors found in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the law). There was previously no set formula to calculate how much money the court had to award, if any, in spousal support. The factors assisted judges in determining spousal support by taking into account, for example, the income and property available to each spouse, future income, standard of living during marriage, and the length of the marriage.

The new revisions to the law, which take effect in January 2015, provide a formula for determining the amount of support based on a percentage of the spouses' income. These changes mainly apply to couples with a combined gross income of less than $250,000 and without a multiple family situation. There is also a formula for determining the length of time spousal support will be paid. While the factors the judges previously relied on to determine the amount of support to award, are still relevant, they are no longer the sole basis for the award of a certain amount in support. The factors will be used to mainly determine if spousal support or maintenance is appropriate in a certain case. However, because use of the formula is not mandatory, a judge may still use the factors to determine the amount of support. If a judge decides to not use the set formula, and rely mainly on the factors, he or she has to give a detailed reasoning for doing so.

Formula for Determining the Amount of Support

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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