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Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen divorce proceedings begin, it can throw everything else in your life into a state of uncertainty. Life continues while the legal issues are getting worked out, with bills to pay and obligations to meet. Because of this, sometimes an Illinois court will order temporary relief to one spouse in order to get through the period of the proceedings, including temporary parental responsibilitieschild support, or spousal support

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support 

Most temporary relief orders asked for in Illinois courts have to do with the arrangements for any children of a divorcing couple. It is common for one parent to seek a temporary order of parenting time simply to ensure the children are permitted to remain in their current situation. Forcing children to move abruptly, only to possibly return them to the previous situation, is generally held to not be in their best interests. Alternatively, parental responsibilities can be contested for more malicious reasons. For example, in some divorce cases, particularly those that are contentious, it is not unheard of for one parent to attempt to get possession of the children solely to cause a disruption in the lives of the children and the former spouse.

Child support is another major factor. The costs of raising a child cannot be paused while the divorce is ongoing, so a temporary order is often necessary. The court will generally assess the request by considering each parent’s income, the current situation, and the needs of the child. 

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance, spousal support, and alimony are all terms used to describe payments that one spouse may be ordered to pay to the other spouse as a result of a divorce. Typically, spousal maintenance is awarded when one spouse lacks sufficient income to support themselves in the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to during the marriage. Spousal maintenance may be awarded based on the directions contained in a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or other valid marital agreement or it may be awarded on a case-by-case basis by the court. If you have reason to believe that you or your spouse will have to pay spousal support, you may have many questions about the amount and duration of the payments.  

When Does an Illinois Court Award Spousal Support?

If no valid marital agreement describes a spouse’s maintenance obligation, the court will decide whether or not maintenance is appropriate and necessary by weighing a number of factors. These factors typically include but are not limited to:

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DuPage County maintenance attorneysWhen a married couple divorces in Illinois, the court may require the higher-earning spouse to pay spousal support to the other spouse. Spousal support is also called spousal maintenance or alimony. The support is typically intended to be temporary and rehabilitative in nature, but there are exceptions. The higher-earning spouse provides payments to the recipient spouse until he or she can get back on his or her feet financially. The issue of the payment of spousal support may also be agreed upon ahead of time through a prenuptial agreement. Whether you are the payor or recipient of spousal support, you may want to know how long these payments will last. The answer depends on a variety of factors.

Temporary Spousal Support vs. Permanent Spousal Support

If you and your spouse agreed to a spousal support arrangement in a Marital Settlement Agreement, the payments will end according to that agreement. When the court assigns spousal support, it is typically intended to last long enough for the recipient to gain the education, training, skills, and employment needed to become financially independent. Illinois law provides a formula for calculating the duration of a spousal support order that depends upon the length of the marriage. Longer marriages generally lead to proportionately longer orders for spousal support.

In some cases, the court will award permanent spousal support to a spouse. This typically happens when the spouses were married for longer than 20 years and the lesser earning spouse sacrificed education and employment to be a homemaker or care for children.

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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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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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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree