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DuPage County family law attorney, spousal maintenance agreementsIn many divorce cases, the parties are able to agree upon spousal maintenance and the terms of the arrangement are entered into the final dissolution of marriage order. Under Illinois law, the agreement is binding on the parties, but it can be modified under certain circumstances. At times, it may be necessary and appropriate to make changes, as many life-changing events can occur after the divorce is finalized. The ex-spouses must look to the specific terms of the agreement to determine whether it can be modified. Hence, it is important to consult with an Illinois spousal maintenance attorney before you sign.

Agreements Regarding Modification

The terms of a spousal maintenance agreement typically cover the amount one spouse pays to the other, how often, and whether there are any events that would cause maintenance to terminate. In addition to payment basics, a divorcing couple can also include different types of modification provisions in their spousal maintenance agreement:

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DuPage County family law attorneys, spousal maintenanceThere are several matters that a court will determine during the divorce process in Illinois, and spousal maintenance is among the top issues that a judge will decide. The term spousal maintenance refers to the financial support that one ex-spouse pays to the other, commonly known as “alimony.”

The first consideration that a court will review is whether spousal maintenance is appropriate under the circumstances; Illinois law lists a number of different factors to weigh, including income, earning capacity, property, and duration of the marriage.

One point that is often hotly contested is when one spouse’s role is focused primarily on domestic duties during the marriage. Two factors under the Illinois divorce statute speak to exactly this type of situation.

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DuPage County family law attorneys, modifying spousal maintenanceYour circumstances can change considerably in the months and years after your divorce, especially your financial situation. The spousal maintenance arrangement ordered by the court as part of the dissolution of marriage process may not be appropriate anymore, but you do have options for amending the terms. While you should discuss the specifics for modifying spousal support with an Illinois divorce lawyer, an understanding of certain general information may prove helpful.

State Law on Spousal Maintenance Modification

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that an order for spousal maintenance can be modified by showing a “substantial change in circumstances.” Both the ex-spouse receiving support and the one paying it can request a change to increase, decrease, or terminate maintenance payments. The law lists a number of factors indicating a substantial change in circumstances, including:

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prenuptial agreement, DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorneyA prenuptial agreement is probably the last thing you want to think about when you are planning a romantic wedding, but it is a smart approach for many couples starting a life together. A prenup is a way for couples to decide certain issues for themselves, rather than relying on divorce laws that may result in an unbalanced situation.

The common presumption is that prenuptial agreements are intended to protect the “richer” spouse, but there are a number of reasons why these agreements benefit both parties. Consult with a DuPage County prenuptial lawyer about how a prenup would work for you and your partner.

Bring Everything to the Table 

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Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

DuPage County maintenance and alimony attorneys, alimonyIf you are considering divorce, you may have concerns regarding whether or not you will have to pay alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance. Spousal support is less common than it once was, but it is still ordered in some divorces.

Factors the Court Takes into Consideration

The court considers several factors when determining a spousal maintenance award. Maintenance calculations are separate from child support (for the most part) and are not influenced by any marital wrongdoing or fault. The factors the court will look at include the income and property of each spouse, the financial needs of the spouses, the length of the marriage, and the future and present earning capacity and job prospects of the spouses. Additionally, the court will look at whether the spouse requesting alimony contributed to the education or training of the other spouse, the health of the spouses, and any other considerations the court finds relevant.

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