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How Can You Get Alimony in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on August 16, 2021 in Spousal Support

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.


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