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Wheaton alimony lawyersSpousal support may not be awarded as often as it once was, it is still a factor in some cases. Think you might be entitled? Check out these 14 factors the courts use to decide whether or not to award alimony to a disadvantaged party and learn more about what our divorce lawyers can do to improve the outcome in your Illinois divorce case. 

1. Income and Assets of Each Party


Each party's income and assets are one of the first and biggest factors used to determine whether spousal support should be awarded in a divorce case. The courts will consider both marital and non-marital assets, as well as each party’s financial obligations. 

2. Financial Needs of Each Party

Another important factor the courts use to determine whether alimony should be awarded is the financial needs of each party. Three key components are used in this determination: the financial needs of the recipient, whether there is a gap in the recipient’s ability to meet their needs, and whether the payor is capable of supplementing that gap. Note that these needs must be legitimate; wants and luxuries are not considered. 

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Illinois divorce lawyersTaxes, though not often discussed, are a critical element in almost every divorce, and they are especially important when alimony may be owed. Thanks to the new Tax Code and Jobs Act, everything about alimony and taxes will change, come the start of 2019. Find out how and discover what it could mean for your Illinois divorce in the following sections. 

The New Tax Law and Divorce - An Overview

While the new tax law may not affect all divorces, it is likely to have a significant impact on cases involving alimony. Parties who pay support and complete their divorce after December 31, 2018, will no longer receive a tax deduction at the end of the year, and receiving spouses will no longer be required to pay taxes on the alimony they receive. At first glance, this might seem like a benefit for the family, but appearances can be deceiving. 

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Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

DuPage County family law attorneys, ending spousal support

There are several forms of spousal support, or alimony, under Illinois law. Alimony can be periodic or permanent. Alimony may also take the form of a lump-sum payment or a transfer of property. Most alimony, however, is periodic. A supporting spouse will usually make regular payments to the supported spouse for a specific period of time. If the supported spouse decides to remarry or cohabitate, alimony payments will be impacted.

Remarrying and Alimony Awards

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DuPage County family law attorneys, entitled to spousal supportSpousal support is one of the biggest issues in a divorce. Also referred to as alimony or maintenance, spousal support requires that one former spouse continues to financially support the other former spouse for a period of time or permanently. There are several different types of maintenance that can be agreed upon or ordered by court. However, it must first be determined whether either spouse is entitled to receive support from the other.

Temporary Spousal Support 

During the course of divorce proceedings, one spouse can receive temporary maintenance from the other. This temporary alimony has no effect on whether permanent spousal support will be awarded at the end of the divorce, but it can serve to help provide for the lesser earning spouse while the divorce is ongoing. Typically, temporary alimony begins when one spouse files for divorce and it ends when the divorce is finalized. 

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Spousal Support After a Divorce

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is intended to provide a financial cushion for divorced spouses who find themselves at a financial disadvantage after the end of the marriage, often because they declined to further pursue their education or career in order to care for the family. As traditional gender roles shift, it is increasingly common for ex-husbands to turn to the court to require their ex-wives to pay them spousal support. Although women, in general, still earn less than men in this country, many wives contribute significantly or solely to the family’s finances.

The Process of Deciding on Alimony Amounts

Some former spouses are able to come to an agreement about the amount of alimony that the more financially advantaged spouse will provide to the other spouse, either independently or with the help of a divorce lawyer.

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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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In the event that you and your spouse get a divorce, there are still ways for you to financially support one another if need be. This can be done through spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony. All of these terms, which can be used interchangeably, refer to “payments or transfers of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce.” Illinois Spousal SupportIllinois spousal support laws were created in order to make sure a divorced spouse does not suffer from a decrease in their standard of living because of the divorce. It is not uncommon for only one spouse to be working actively and financially supporting both parties. In the event of a divorce, it would be very difficult for the unemployed spouse to quickly find a job capable of supporting their normal lifestyle. Spousal support seeks to make sure that the divorced spouse can ease their way back into a suitable standard of living without any detrimental lifestyle changes. Contrary to what many people may think, the husband is not automatically the one who must pay spousal support. Many former wives also pay spousal support, and it is unconstitutional for any state to hold that only a husband can pay and only a woman can receive spousal support. In Illinois, the courts do not consider marital misconduct when settling the amount of alimony. They refer to other factors which include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • Both spouses’ income and property, including marital property, awarded to both spouses and any non-marital property awarded to the spouse requesting alimony
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce in Illinois and you feel that one of you may need to request spousal support, do not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you with the process.
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