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How Long Does Spousal Support Last in a DuPage County Divorce?

 Posted on March 22, 2022 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerSpousal support, spousal maintenance, and alimony are all terms used to describe financial support paid by one spouse to the other after divorce. Spousal support can be a significant source of financial relief to those who receive it. However, it can also be a major expense for the paying spouse. Whether you are the primary earner in your marriage or you intend to seek spousal support for yourself, it is important to understand how spousal support works in Illinois divorce cases.  

Spousal Maintenance is Usually Ordered for a Limited Time

In most cases, spousal maintenance is temporary. The spouse receives financial assistance in the form of maintenance until he or she is able to become self-sustaining. If the marriage lasted more than 20 years, permanent maintenance might be ordered. However, spousal maintenance always terminates if the recipient gets remarried or the paying spouse dies.

Fixed-term maintenance is awarded for a specified amount of time. The court chooses a date on which maintenance payments will cease. This type of spousal maintenance is often ordered when a spouse needs financial support while he or she gets back on his or her feet after the divorce. For example, a stay-at-home parent who has not worked outside of the home in many years may need time to reenter the workforce and become financially independent. Conversely, a spouse who sacrificed higher education to help put the other spouse through school may need financial support while he or she goes to college or trade school.

Reviewable Maintenance and Modifications

It can be hard to estimate when a spouse will reach financial independence and no longer require assistance in the form of spousal maintenance. Sometimes, spouses agree to reviewable spousal maintenance. This means that a date is set to review the parties’ financial situation and determine if maintenance is still necessary. If the recipient spouse is making a high enough income to forego maintenance, the maintenance payments may terminate. If the spouse needs more time to become self-sustaining, the maintenance payments continue until the next review.

Spousal maintenance may be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if the paying spouse becomes disabled or unemployed, he or she may be unable to continue paying. If the recipient spouse receives a major financial windfall, continued maintenance may be unnecessary and inappropriate.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer for Help

Whether you are the primary earner in your family or you are reliant on your spouse’s income, the DuPage County divorce attorneys at Goostree Law Group can help you understand your rights regarding spousal maintenance. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 for a free, confidential case assessment.




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