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Top Questions About Spousal Support in Illinois

 Posted on June 14, 2022 in Divorce

palatine divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you may have questions about spousal maintenance. Sometimes called alimony or spousal support, spousal maintenance aims to reduce the negative financial impact suffered by a spouse after a divorce. Whether you are the primary income earner in the marriage or you make less than your spouse, it is crucial to understand how spousal maintenance works in Illinois divorce cases.

Who Can Get Spousal Maintenance?

Typically, spousal maintenance is paid to lesser-earning spouses to offset the negative financial effects of divorce. While women have traditionally been the recipients of spousal maintenance, men and women can be both payers or recipients of maintenance.

How Can I Get Maintenance?

If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement entitling you to maintenance, the Court will most likely uphold this decision during your divorce. If you do not have a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement in place, you can request spousal maintenance during your divorce. Some couples are able to reach an agreement on the terms of spousal support and avoid taking the matter to trial. For example, you may agree that you will receive maintenance for a one-year period to give you time to get back on your feet financially.

If you cannot reach an agreement, the Court will make a determination regarding maintenance. The Court will consider the duration of the marriage, the spouses’ financial circumstances, child custody, and other factors when deciding whether to award maintenance.

Can I Object to My Spouse’s Maintenance Request?

Primary earners often have questions about their maintenance obligations. If you earn more than your spouse, this does not automatically mean that you will have to pay spousal maintenance. You have the right to make your case as to why you should not have to pay support. If you have questions or concerns about your spousal maintenance obligations, speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to receive guidance specific to your situation.

How Much Does a Spouse Pay?

The amount of spousal maintenance a spouse can receive and the duration of payments are usually based on Illinois statute. Illinois uses a formula that takes both parties’ net incomes into account. Typically, the longer the spouses were married, the longer a recipient’s entitlement to maintenance. Maintenance automatically terminates if the recipient gets remarried.

Contact a Palatine Spousal Support Lawyer

If you are getting divorced and have questions about your spousal maintenance rights or obligations, contact Arlington Heights divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson for help. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free consultation.


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