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Arlington Heights spousal support lawyerDivorce can be a challenging and emotionally charged process, and it will involve multiple types of legal and financial concerns. Out of the many complex issues couples may need to navigate, spousal support may be an important factor affecting both parties' financial health. Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, refers to financial support provided by one spouse to the other after a divorce. In Illinois, spousal support may be awarded based on several factors outlined by state law. An experienced attorney can guide how to address issues related to spousal maintenance and ensure that all factors are assessed correctly. 

According to Illinois law, a family court judge may consider a variety of issues when determining whether spousal maintenance will be awarded during a divorce. These factors include:

The Duration of the Marriage

The amount of time a couple was married will play a crucial role in determining whether spousal support will be awarded. Generally, longer marriages tend to have a higher likelihood of maintenance being awarded than shorter ones. If maintenance is awarded, the length of a couple's marriage will also be used to calculate the duration of a spousal support order.


Untitled-88.jpgWhen a couple decides to end their marriage, they will need to address a variety of concerns as they proceed with their divorce. In some cases, spousal support (also known as spousal maintenance or alimony) will be an important issue to address. Spousal support orders will create a legal obligation in which one spouse will be required to pay financial support to their former partner. These payments may be necessary to address a disparity in the incomes earned by the parties and ensure that both spouses will be able to maintain their standard of living. However, it is important to understand that spousal support can be awarded in different forms, including both temporary and permanent support.

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary maintenance, as the name suggests, is awarded for a limited period of time during divorce proceedings. This is designed to provide financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse until a final spousal support order is issued. Temporary support is meant to maintain the status quo and ensure that both spouses can meet their financial needs during the divorce process.

A family court judge may determine an appropriate amount of temporary spousal support based on the incomes and needs of both spouses. The court will consider factors such as the expenses that both spouses will need to pay and the financial resources available to each party. The goal is to ensure that both spouses will be able to meet their needs during the divorce process. When temporary alimony is ordered, one spouse will be required to make regular payments to the other, and this requirement will typically remain in place until the divorce is finalized.


barrington divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced in Illinois, you may be interested in learning about alimony laws. Alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, is financial support a spouse is ordered to pay the other spouse after the divorce. For many spouses, divorce creates a serious financial burden. This is especially true when a spouse has limited employability because he or she is disabled or was a homemaker or stay-at-home parent prior to the divorce. If you are worried about your ability to make ends meet without your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s income, you may want to seek financial assistance in the form of spousal support.

Three Main Legal Avenues for Receiving Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

Alimony is not guaranteed. In fact, most divorce cases do not involve a spousal maintenance award. There are three main ways that a divorcing spouse receives alimony:

  • A valid marital agreement – Prenuptial agreements often specify the terms of spousal maintenance. Spouses may also reach a spousal maintenance agreement in a postnuptial agreement or an agreement after the marriage has taken place.
  • An agreement between the spouses – You and your spouse have the freedom to reach any type of marital settlement you want during your divorce negotiations. Some couples assign an asset of significant value, such as a business, to one spouse while the other spouse receives spousal maintenance. Other couples decide that a spouse will receive maintenance payments for a specified time after the marriage to give him or her time to become financially self-supporting. Your lawyer can help you explore the various options for including spousal maintenance in your marital settlement agreement.
  • Petitioning the court for spousal maintenance – You can ask the court to determine a spousal maintenance award by filing a motion for spousal support with the court. Illinois courts evaluate many different factors when deciding whether or not to order spousal support, including your financial needs, income, assets, and employability. The court will also consider any impairment to your earning capacity caused by time you spent as a homemaker or stay-at-home mother or father. Your spouse’s financial circumstances, each spouse’s health, length of the marriage, and the standard of living during the marriage will also play into the court’s decision.

Contact a Barrington Alimony Lawyer

If you are interested in seeking alimony in your divorce, contact Inverness divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson at the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. for help. Call 847.873.6741 for a free, confidential consultation.


Rolling Meadows divorce attorney for spousal maintenanceOne of the many considerations that commonly arise during divorce is the issue of spousal support, which is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance. In years past, spousal support was more common than it is now, simply because our culture and society were different. In many cases, it was not uncommon for women, in particular, to stay home to raise children and take care of the household while the man worked outside of the home to financially support the family.

While this may have worked during the marriage, it tended to create financial dependence, causing issues if the couple ended up getting divorced. Rather than leaving the woman to fend for herself, spousal maintenance was created, requiring the working spouse to contribute a portion of his or her income to help support their former spouse until they can get back on their feet. In today’s world, spousal support is less common than it used to be, but it is still an issue that can arise, and it can lead to contentious disputes between divorcing spouses.

Awarding Spousal Support in Divorce

Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in all Illinois divorces. There will be some cases in which spousal support would not be appropriate, such as if both spouses have jobs and earn enough income to support themselves. If the issue of spousal support is contested, a judge will determine if a spousal maintenance award is necessary. To do this, he or she will look at a variety of factors that may include things like you and your spouse’s income, each of your present and realistic earning capacities, how long your marriage lasted, and each of your needs.


Barrington divorce attorney spousal support

Although all divorces may have some things in common, each case is unique depending on the couple. Some spouses mutually agree to legally end their marriage while in other cases, one partner is blindsided by the breakup. Typically, there are several issues that must be addressed before the divorce is considered final. According to Illinois law, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which means possessions are divided fairly but not exactly 50/50. This also includes any outstanding debt the couple may have acquired throughout their marriage. Another aspect that is considered is whether one spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance or support, which is also known as alimony. Financial support of this nature allows one party to maintain a certain standard of living after the divorce until he or she can secure employment and become financially independent.

Spousal Support Guidelines

As of January 1, 2019, the rules governing spousal maintenance in Illinois changed. If a couple cannot reach an agreement on spousal support payments, then the court will get involved. The court will consider all relevant factors to come up with a duration and an amount that is appropriate, including the length of the marriage, each party’s income level, as well as his or her future earning potential.


Introducing The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson

Nicholas W. Richardson is an experienced divorce lawyer and mediator whose comprehensive legal knowledge, commitment to clients and reputation for results bring lasting solutions to your problems.

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