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4 Questions About Alimony in Illinois Divorce Cases

 Posted on August 30, 2021 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyerAlimony, spousal maintenance, and spousal support are all terms used to describe the financial assistance an individual provides to his or her spouse during or after divorce. In Illinois, you can request temporary spousal maintenance while your divorce is ongoing through a “temporary relief order.” You may also receive payments after the divorce is complete. However, spousal maintenance is not guaranteed, and many divorce cases conclude without a spousal maintenance order. Read on to learn about how, why, and when spousal maintenance is awarded in Illinois.

How Can You Get Spousal Support?

Spousal maintenance may be awarded to a spouse if the spouses agreed to maintenance in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The spouses may also reach an agreement on the amount and duration of maintenance payments during settlement negotiations in their divorce. Lastly, a spouse may request maintenance by filing a petition with the court.

When Does the Court Award Alimony?

Illinois courts make decisions about spousal maintenance by evaluating the spouses’ needs, financial circumstances, employability, and other relevant factors. The length of the marriage and the standard of living during the marriage also impact this decision significantly.  Maintenance is often awarded to a spouse if he or she gave up career or education opportunities to raise children or be a homemaker; however, maintenance decisions are made by evaluating the totality of circumstances.

How Much Are Maintenance Payments?

Whether you are seeking spousal maintenance or you are the paying spouse, you are probably curious about how much maintenance payments will be. In most cases, the amount that a spouse pays in maintenance is determined by a mathematical formula. Spousal maintenance usually equals 33 percent of the payer’s net income minus 25 percent of the recipient’s net income. This formula applies as long as the additional funds do not cause the recipient spouse’s total income (including both maintenance and other sources) to be more than 40 percent of the spouses’ combined net income. If the spouses’ combined net income is more than $500,000 a year or there are other extenuating circumstances, maintenance payments may not follow this formula.

How Long Do Maintenance Payments Last?

The duration of alimony in Illinois varies case by case. Some spouses are only entitled to temporary payments with a fixed duration. In rare cases, a spouse is entitled to permanent maintenance. Typically, the longer the couple was married, the longer maintenance payments last. Spousal support terminates if the recipient gets remarried or if either spouse passes away.

Contact a DuPage County Alimony Lawyer

If you are getting divorced and you have questions or concerns about alimony, contact the Wheaton divorce lawyers at Goostree Law Group for help. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.




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