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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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Wheaton alimony attorneysAt the start of 2019, the federal government eliminated the 70-year-old tax deduction associated with alimony payments. For receiving spouses, it may seem beneficial to no longer have to claim alimony payments as income, but the change actually leaves less money for the entire family. That is because paying spouses, who remain at the same tax bracket, may need to decrease their support amount to balance out their financial obligations. Thankfully, there are some alternative strategies that families can use to preserve their wealth after a divorce. 

Trading Alimony Payments for a Transference of Retirement Funds 

Depending on the ages of the divorcing parties, a transference of retirement funds may be preferable to alimony payments. In this option, the paying spouse makes a tax-free exchange of money by directing some of their retirement funds to the lower-earning spouse. The receiving spouse may also withdraw from the amount without tax penalty, so long as they are age 59.5 or older. If the receiving party has not yet surpassed the age threshold, divorcing parties may want to consider another alternative, as the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty may outweigh any potential benefits for the family unit. 

Using a Trust Account in Lieu of Alimony Payments 

Another potentially viable alternative to alimony payments is the use of a trust account. The most commonly used versions are the CRT (charitable remainder trust), QTIP (Qualified Terminable Interest Trust), ILIT (Life Insurance Trust), and Alimony Trusts. 

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Illinois divorce lawyersAlthough alimony is far less common than it once was, it is still a factor in divorces today. Under what circumstances is alimony awarded, and how can you tell if you may be entitled to it in your Illinois divorce case? The following information explains, and it provides you with some details on why and how the assistance of an experienced family law attorney can help.

Alimony in an Illinois Divorce

Despite the common misconception, alimony is not awarded in divorce, simply because one asks for it. Instead, there are certain factors that the courts use to determine if a party may be eligible, including:

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DuPage County family law lawyers, spousal supportThe purpose of spousal maintenance is to provide one partner with the financial means to support himself or herself according to a reasonable standard of living after a divorce. The award of alimony to one spouse is subject to modification based upon a variety of factors; however, the Illinois statute is clear on the circumstances that will terminate support:

  1. The death of either former spouse;
  2. Remarriage of the recipient party; or
  3. Cohabitation by the recipient party.

While the first two situations are straightforward, the cohabitation factor can be slightly tricky. It is necessary to take a close look at complicated statutory language and review case law, so you will need an experienced spousal maintenance attorney to assist with your situation.

Cohabitation Factors That Terminate Maintenance

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postnuptial agreements, DuPage County prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorneysWhile prenuptial agreements are commonly discussed in popular culture, it is less common to hear about postnuptial agreements. Postnuptial agreements cover similar things to prenuptial agreements, but they are entered into after the marriage has already been created. It may seem strange for couples to enter into these (usually) binding agreements after they have already been married for a period of time, but there are many valid reasons why a couple may want to draw up and sign a postnuptial agreement.

If you are thinking about a postnuptial agreement it is crucial that you talk to a knowledgeable prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney to make sure that the agreement you devise will be upheld by the court.

Marital Wrongdoing

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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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What Can We Include in an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement?If you are thinking about getting married and you and your spouse are considering signing a prenuptial agreement, you may be curious as to what you can and cannot include under Illinois law. Theoretically, you can put anything you want in there, but Illinois will only recognize the parts that they allow and, depending on the circumstances, going too far afield may call the entire document into question. If you are thinking about a prenuptial agreement you should talk to a skilled prenuptial agreement attorney to make sure that the agreement will be upheld and also that your rights are protected.

Illinois Law

Prenuptial agreements in Illinois are governed under the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. Courts often prefer prenuptial agreements because it makes property division much easier.

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Temporary Spousal Maintenance, spousal support, divorce, DuPage County maintenance and alimony attorneysDivorce cases can go on for years, but sometimes decisions need to be made before the judge issues a final order. In many cases, the court has the power to issue temporary orders for cases that are still in progress. One situation in which the court will sometimes issue temporary orders arises during a divorce when one spouse needs spousal maintenance (also known as spousal support).

Situations Where Temporary Spousal Maintenance is Ordered

As more women have entered the workforce, and there are more dual-earner couples, spousal support has become less common. However, sometimes spousal support is still warranted, and a need for immediate spousal support is even more common since many times one spouse needs time to get on their feet before they can be financially independent.

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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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spousal support payments, Illinois divorce attorneyIf you are currently making spousal support payments, filing for bankruptcy does not terminate your obligation. Unlike credit card debt and mortgage payments, which may be put on hold or eliminated completely through bankruptcy, your responsibility to provide for your former spouse and your children remains in place regardless of your financial circumstances.

However, you may be able to have your required payment amount reduced to accommodate your altered means. If you need to have your alimony requirement altered, speak with a trusted divorce attorney about how to complete the modification process.

Filing for Bankruptcy with an Alimony Requirement

If your personal debt reaches the point where it is so great that you can not meet your repayment obligations, you may be able to file for bankruptcy. Individuals with outstanding personal debt are eligible to file for two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

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alimony oudated conceptDivorce cases certainly involve a change of circumstance for both parties, whether the dissolution of the marriage was expected or not. As such, certain laws are in place to ease the transition for one party, or both parties in some cases. Specifically, the concept of alimony is generally intended to allow an ex-spouse who may have sacrificed a career or education in favor of the family gain some financial stability for a period of time upon divorce.

The law in most states, including Illinois, sets guidelines for alimony and factors for the court to consider in determining an amount of alimony award, if any. However, there are a number of other states with arguably antiquated laws which allow for lifetime receipt of alimony with little consideration given to factors such as length of marriage or a change in circumstance of either party. Lawmakers and advocates across the country are debating the concept of alimony and whether the idea of post-divorce spousal maintenance is outdated.

Positions on Alimony

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce finances, gray divorce, divorce after 50, DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce attorney in IllinoisAny couple that decides to divorce will have financial considerations to take into account, but issues surrounding divorce finances may affect those couples who divorce later in life the most. Ending a marriage after the age of 50 can have its own set of issues to address when it comes to preserving financial security. Often, couples of that age have investments, savings, accumulated assets, and retirement accounts to sort through.

Questions to Ask

Many older couples in this situation may need to take actions that they would not have had to if they remained married, such as going back to work or selling their home. However, there are steps these individuals can take to minimize the the financial effect their divorce will have. According to a financial advice article recently published, there are certain questions divorcees can ask before, during, and after a divorce proceeding to ensure financial security.
  • Where is the money? Those who are getting divorced need to identify and determine what marital property will be eligible for division. This generally includes money earned during the marriage and assets or items purchased with that money. Items that many may not realize are marital property include pension plans, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and tax returns.
  • What are the tax consequences? Any future tax bills must be factored into all settlement offers. An offer that seems fair on its face may not be so equitable when taxes are considered. Tax consequences must especially be considered when it comes to alimony payments, which are usually considered taxable income to the recipient and a tax deduction for the payor.
  • How can we split our retirement savings? Depending on the type of retirement account, transfers can either be straightforward or complex. IRAs can usually be handled by the divorcing spouses and addressed within the divorce decree, while splitting 401(k)s and pension plans can be more complicated. Early and well-informed action in this area can provide huge financial benefits.
  • Should I keep the house? While many people who divorce later in life feel strongly about keeping their home, it may not be a wise financial move, especially if they forgo other assets in the negotiating process to do so. Sometimes, it is more beneficial and financially wise to sell the home and split the profits.
  • Will I still be insured? In the past, many couples may have actually avoided divorce for fear of being denied individual health coverage. Now, new laws like the Affordable Care Act should help to relieve some of those concerns, as well as marketplace or COBRA coverage under an ex-spouse’s employer health plan.
  • How should my estate plan change? Couples divorcing later in life are advised to change all of their estate planning documents as soon as they make the decision to divorce, in order to best improve their chances of protecting their property and preserving their final wishes.
Divorce Attorney If you are considering divorce, the experienced attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC can help you. Please feel free to contact us today for a consultation. Our offices are located in Wheaton, Warrenville, and Chicago.

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.

spousal support, alimony, spousal maintenance, divorceSpousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony, refers to the transfer of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce. Spousal support exists in order to prevent a divorced spouse from suffering from a decrease in his or her standard of living due to a divorce.

It is not uncommon in marriages for one spouse to be employed and the other to be untrained or out of the workforce. After a divorce, it is very difficult for those who were not employed outside of the home during the marriage to obtain jobs that allow them to keep up with the standard of living they were used to while married.

 Depending on the circumstances, a couple may choose one of three different types of spousal maintenance. The first type of spousal support is called rehabilitative maintenance. This type of support generally has a set time frame and ends when the receiving spouse is back up on his or her feet. During the set time period, the receiving spouse has a chance to adjust, return to to the job market, and establish their own financial independence. Next, we have permanent maintenance. This type of agreement, hence the name, is permanent and will only end in the event of the death of one of the previous spouses or after a certain condition arises, such as remarriage. Permanent maintenance is sometimes awarded after an exceptionally lengthy marriage or if something is stopping the receiving spouse from entering the workforce, such as a physical disability. Although maintenance is permanent, payments are not set at one sum forever and may be negotiated upward or downward over the years based on changing circumstances. The third and final form of spousal maintenance is called temporary maintenance. Traditionally, this type of support is awarded to a spouse while the divorce is pending, as a divorce can sometimes take up to a year or more to be finalized.  Maintenance will end when the divorce becomes final. Spousal maintenance is not for all divorcing couples, but it is helpful to be familiar with the different options that exist. If you and your soon-to-be-ex are considering setting up a spousal support agreement, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.

marriageMarriage is a risky proposition, considering that about half end in divorce.  Just as you protect yourself from risks by having insurance, you can do the same for your marriage.  A prenuptial agreement can act like an insurance policy for your union and any assets you would want to keep in the event of a divorce.  Nancy Dunnan, a financial advisor in New York City, states that “marriage is not just an emotional and physical union—it’s also a financial union.  A prenup and the discussions that go with it can help ensure the financial well-being of the marriage.”  These agreements have become more popular in the past couple of years. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows that 63 percent of divorce lawyers have noticed an increase in the number of couples creating prenups over the last three years.  Forty-six percent of the lawyers surveyed also noted that more women are initiating the prenup discussion.  AAML President Alton L. Abramowitz had this to offer as a possible explanation.  “I think people have become much more conscious of the availability of prenuptial agreements and there’s a greater emphasis on protecting either premarital assets that may increase in value, or assets that may increase in value during the marriage primarily because of the efforts of one spouse because of their career.” Asset protection is not the only issue that can be covered in a prenuptial agreement.  These contracts can also outline how debts and assets are divided in a divorce which is important because of the volatility of the real estate market and economy as a whole.  They can also include how an inheritance or other assets that was acquired before a marriage are divided during a divorce.  Spousal support is another typical topic that can be included in a prenuptial agreement.  If you have additional questions or would like to create a prenup for your marriage, contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County today.

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