Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


Plainfield Office


Joliet Spousal Maintenance Attorney

Will County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Divorce Attorney Serving Joliet and Plainfield Explains Alimony or Spousal Support

Are maintenance payments, also known as alimony or spousal support, a desirable component of a divorce settlement? It really depends on your circumstances.

Recent changes to both Illinois divorce law and federal tax law have significantly impacted decisions about maintenance. It is more important than ever to choose a financially-savvy divorce attorney who can help you weigh the merits of maintenance in conjunction with the division of marital property and the corresponding tax consequences.

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., you will receive our personal attention and a customized approach to your divorce case that focuses on your needs and goals. In our decades of experience, we have helped our clients work through the most complicated financial decisions, including the equitable division of property and a fair amount and duration of maintenance payments. You can rely on our legal knowledge and negotiating skill to deliver a divorce settlement that serves your best interests and leaves you with the greatest possible financial security.

When Is Maintenance Appropriate or Recommended?

Illinois divorce law starts with a presumption that all adults should be able to work and support themselves and that maintenance should generally not be necessary. Therefore, if you are seeking maintenance, you must show why it is appropriate in your situation.

When spouses each have enough income to be self-sufficient, and they settle on a fair division of marital property, they may agree to forego maintenance payments.

Maintenance payments may be appropriate, however, in situations such as these:

  • One spouse has been a stay-at-home parent or homemaker for most of the marriage, which has impaired their earning potential to the point that they are unlikely to become self-supporting.
  • One spouse needs financial support for a reasonable period of time to obtain additional education and find a suitable job in order to become self-supporting.
  • The couple agrees that the spouse with primary care of their children should remain in the marital home and/or remain a stay-at-home parent, and the other spouse is willing to pay maintenance in addition to child support to make that financially feasible.

When one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the lesser-earning spouse often asks for maintenance in order to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. However, you should also consider the option of assigning additional assets to the lesser-earning party in lieu of paying maintenance. When a divorce is not amicable, a maintenance order can become a source of ongoing aggravation and litigation.

Important Facts About Illinois Law on Maintenance

Four important things to know about Illinois law on maintenance are:

  • If you and your spouse waive your rights to maintenance in your divorce judgment, neither party can, in the future, file a claim for maintenance from the other (750 ILCS 5/457e).
  • If you and your spouse agree on maintenance of, say, $3,000 per month for an indefinite term, that does not guarantee lifetime support in that amount. Unless a court order specifically states that maintenance is non-modifiable, either party can go back to court and argue for a change in the term or amount of maintenance on the basis of a significant change in circumstances (750 ILCS 5/502f).
  • When one spouse requests maintenance from the court, Illinois law defines a formula for calculating the amount and duration of maintenance that must be followed unless the court specifically states its reasons for deviating from the guidelines (750 ILCS 5/504b1-2).
  • Unless otherwise provided, maintenance terminates upon the death of either party or the recipient's remarriage or cohabitation (750 ILCS 5/510c). Maintenance may be secured by life insurance or other means as agreed by the parties (750 ILCS 5/504f).

Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Serving Morris and Yorkville

An experienced divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help you determine whether maintenance is justified in your circumstances and, if so, the appropriate amount and duration of payments. For a confidential consultation, contact us at 815-666-1285. From our two convenient offices in Joliet and Plainfield, Illinois, we serve clients in Will County, Grundy County, Kendall County, Yorkville, Morris, and surrounding areas.

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