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DuPage County family law lawyer, calculating spousal maintenanceWhen spouses separate, it is possible that one spouse will need financial support. Illinois law provides courts with specific guidelines for determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.

If you and your spouse are divorcing and you are interested in learning more about spousal maintenance, do not hesitate to contact an attorney with skill and experience in the field of family law.

Types of Spousal Support

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DuPage County family law attorneys, alimony in IllinoisIn Illinois, when a couple divorces and one spouse is left economically disadvantaged, a judge may award that spouse maintenance, otherwise known as alimony. The length and amount of alimony depends on a number of factors dictated by law, and depending on the facts of the marriage, a judge can award different types of alimony to a spouse.

Illinois Alimony Law

Under 750 ILCS 5/ the Illinois legislature defined what types of alimony payments are available during and after a divorce. The law provides for temporary maintenance during the course of the divorce proceedings. In addition, a judge can award rehabilitative alimony, reviewable maintenance, or permanent alimony to a spouse after the divorce is finalized.

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Illinois alimony lawVirtually all areas of law at least have the potential to change over time. Sometimes, the change comes in the form of court decisions, and other times it is through legislative action. Attorneys are responsible for keeping informed of changes in the law and any related procedure in order to provide their clients with competent representation.

Such a change has recently occurred within this state. In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law into effect that will change the alimony law in the state beginning in January of 2015. This law is expected to affect the maintenance and spousal support awarded to ex-spouses in divorce cases in the new year, and its exact effects will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.

New Law

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alimony, spousal support, spousal maintenance, DuPage County family law attorneyDivorce is a life change for everyone involved, but the legal process of ending a marriage may pose more challenging for one spouse than for the other. Often times, one spouse may have made sacrifices in their career to raise children or to give the other an opportunity to finish school or obtain training. When that partnership ends, the sacrificing spouse may be at a disadvantage and need financial assistance. In cases such as these, the financially dependent spouse may seek alimony payments, also known as spousal support or maintenance, from the other.

The Law on Alimony Alimony payments can be ordered on a temporary basis even before a final decree of divorce is entered. Later, a spouse may ask the court to include an alimony payment in the divorce decree for a fixed period of time. Sometimes, spouses may agree on an amount of alimony. When they are not able to come to an agreement, the court will make a determination regarding alimony. Since there is not a guideline or calculation used to determine the amount of an alimony award, judges use a list of factors in making their decision that are set out by Illinois law. Those factors include:
  • The income and assets of each spouse, including property divided in the divorce;
  • Each spouse’s needs;
  • Each party’s present and future earning potential;
  • Any reduction to a spouse’s earning capacity due to the marriage;
  • The time it will take for the in-need spouse to finish any necessary education and employment;
  • If the in-need spouse can support themselves;
  • If the spouse seeking alimony can work if they are in custody of a child;
  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • Each party’s age and mental and physical condition;
  • Tax consequences of the property division in the divorce;
  • If the in-need spouse worked to support the other during their education or training; and
  • Whether any valid agreement existed between the parties.
It is important to note that the court has broad discretion in weighing these factors and making a determination regarding alimony payments, including how long such payments will last. The court may also consider any other factors that are fair under the circumstances, but Illinois law prevents a judge from considering any type of marital misconduct in setting alimony. Termination or Modification of Alimony Payments If either spouse seeks a modification of an alimony award, they must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances. For example, if a paying spouse loses their job or suffers a significant decrease in their income, the award may be modified. Likewise, if the spouse receiving the award obtains a high-paying job, the award may be changed. Alimony awards terminate if the supported spouse remarries or cohabitates with a romantic partner. The award will also terminate automatically upon the death of either party. Divorce Attorney If you are considering divorce, an experienced family law attorney can advise you of your rights, including issues regarding alimony payments. Feel free to contact the divorce attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC today for a consultation. Our offices are located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville.
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