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Can You Get Alimony or Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?

 Posted on March 27, 2023 in Spousal Maintenance

Wheaton Divorce LawyerDivorce can have a massive financial impact on a person so it is understandable that many divorcing spouses have questions about spousal support or alimony. In Illinois law, spousal support is referred to as spousal maintenance. In many cases, divorcing spouses negotiate a spousal maintenance arrangement. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide.

Options for Getting Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance is not automatically granted in an Illinois divorce. If you have a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that entitles a spouse to maintenance, the court will typically uphold this agreement and follow the provisions within the agreement. Absent of any such agreement, spousal maintenance may be negotiated by the spouses or ordered by the court.

As with other divorce issues, divorcing spouses are encouraged to reach an agreement on spousal maintenance. Many spouses find mediation to be a useful tool when negotiating the terms of their divorce. They may also negotiate a spousal maintenance arrangement through their respective attorneys. For example, the higher-earning spouse may agree to pay spousal maintenance to the lower-earning spouse for a period of three months after the divorce.

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts

If the spouses cannot reach a settlement about the terms of spousal maintenance, they can ask the court to make a decision for them. Illinois courts will consider several factors when making a decision. The court will look at each spouse's income and assets as well as their future earning capacity. The court will consider whether there has been an impairment to either spouses earning capacity. For example, a spouse who has spent the last ten years raising children may find it difficult to gain adequate employment.

The standard of living established during the marriage is another key element in the court's decision. The duration of the marriage will weigh heavily in the court's decision. Courts are much more likely to award spousal maintenance to spouses who have been married a significant amount of time.

Amount of Maintenance Varies

The amount of spousal maintenance that a spouse may receive depends on a few different factors. The amount of maintenance awarded by the court is typically determined by a statutory formula. The duration of maintenance will depend on the recipient's needs as well as the duration of the marriage. Longer marriages typically result in longer spousal maintenance obligations. The spouse who is paying support may ask to terminate payments if the recipient gets remarried or moves in with a romantic partner.

Contact our Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

Our DuPage County divorce lawyers understand that spousal maintenance can be a complicated and emotionally-charged issue during divorce. We are available to help you negotiate the terms of spousal maintenance, file a petition with the court requesting maintenance, or modify an established spousal maintenance order. Call 630-657-5052 for a free consultation today.




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