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IL divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can lead to a variety of financial difficulties for both you and your spouse. In addition to addressing the costs of the divorce process itself, you will both need to determine how you will be able to meet your needs based on a single income rather than a combined income. This adjustment may be especially difficult for a person who relied on their spouse as the family’s primary income earner. A spouse who is at a financial disadvantage may be able to receive spousal support. In these cases, the parties will want to be sure to understand how the amount of support will be calculated and how long the payments will last.

Determining the Duration of Spousal Support Payments

Illinois law uses the term “spousal maintenance” for payments made by one spouse to the other following their divorce. Typically, spousal maintenance will be awarded if one spouse needs support to ensure that they can maintain the standard of living they had during their marriage. Spouses may agree that spousal support will be paid when they create a divorce settlement, or in cases where litigation will be required to resolve divorce-related issues, a judge may choose to award maintenance to one spouse after considering factors such as the parties’ financial resources and ongoing needs, whether one spouse made sacrifices during their marriage that affected their career, and whether one party helped the other obtain education or otherwise assisted in their career advancement.

If maintenance is awarded, the amount that will be paid will be calculated based on the income earned by both spouses. The duration that payments will last will depend on whether maintenance is fixed-term, indefinite, or reviewable.

Fixed-term maintenance is awarded in most cases, and payments will last for a specific period of time based on the amount of time the couple was married. In these cases, the duration of maintenance will be based on a percentage of the time the couple was married. For example, if a couple was married for between 12 and 13 years, maintenance will be paid for 52% of the length of their marriage.

Indefinite maintenance may be awarded if a couple was married for at least 20 years or if a spouse has extraordinary needs, such as a disability that prevents them from working and earning an income. In these cases, maintenance will have no termination date, and it will continue to be paid unless the court grants a request for maintenance to be modified or terminated.

Reviewable maintenance may be appropriate if a spouse needs some time to obtain education or pursue employment. In these cases, maintenance may be paid for a specific amount of time, after which the court will review the case to determine whether support is still necessary or whether payments should be modified or terminated.

Contact Our Joliet Spousal Support Attorneys

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you understand how Illinois’ laws related to spousal support apply in your divorce case. We will advocate on your behalf throughout the divorce process to help you reach an outcome that will protect your financial interests and provide for your ongoing needs. Contact our Plainfield spousal maintenance lawyers today by calling 815-666-1285 to arrange a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

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spousal maintenance, Joliet family law attorneyIn the original stage version of The Odd Couple, Oscar Madison's alimony obligation is used to provide character background and to solidify the notion that he was divorced. While Neil Simon's play about vastly different roommates is now more than 50 years old, many people still assume that alimony, currently called spousal maintenance under Illinois law, is virtually an automatic part of the divorce process. In today's world, however, such an assumption is no longer true.

The Purpose of Spousal Maintenance

The original concept of maintenance is a product of a previous era in which men were the primary wage-earners in their families and women, by and large, stayed home to manage the house and children. There were always exceptions, to be sure, but the social expectations were very real. Thus, if and when a divorce was necessary, the wife would often be left without a way to support herself. In such cases, alimony was usually found to be appropriate to help keep the woman—and often the couple's children—afloat financially. There were enough such situations that alimony quickly became almost an expectation following a divorce.

Need-Based Maintenance Awards

Under current Illinois law, spousal maintenance is not presumed to be appropriate in every situation. Family situations today look much different than they did in previous generations, with spouses contributing to household finances more equitably than ever before, and other responsibilities shared more evenly. This also means that there no real way to create a legal standard that would apply to all of the various possible scenarios.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that spousal maintenance is to be considered on a case-by-case basis, assuming there is no valid agreement regarding maintenance between the parties. Maintenance will only be awarded if the court determines there is a need for such support, based on a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The income and needs of each spouse;
  • The portion of the marital estate being allocated to each spouse;
  • Each spouse's age, health, and employability;
  • The ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to become self-sufficient;
  • The contributions of each spouse to the other's career or income potential; and
  • The length of the marriage and the standard of living established.

When maintenance is appropriate, there is a formula in the law to be used in most cases. The court retains the discretion to deviate from the statutory formula depending on the circumstances of the marriage and divorce.

We Can Help

If you are considering a divorce and have questions about receiving spousal maintenance, contact an experienced Joliet family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we will help you understand your options and responsibilities under the law. Schedule your free initial consultation today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

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