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Will I Be Forced to Pay Alimony in My Divorce? 

 Posted on November 28, 2022 in Spousal Maintenance

Wheaton, IL alimony lawyerAlimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance are all terms that are used to describe money that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce or legal separation. In Illinois, spousal maintenance may be agreed upon by the spouses, or the court may order one spouse to pay maintenance to the other. If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about whether you will be required to pay alimony. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the length of your marriage, the incomes of both spouses, and the contributions each spouse made to the marriage.

Negotiated Spousal Maintenance Settlements

Like other elements of a divorce, spouses may be able to negotiate the terms of spousal maintenance through a marital agreement or during their divorce. If the spouses had previously made an agreement regarding maintenance in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court will typically uphold that agreement during divorce.

If the spouses do not have any previous agreements, they may be able to reach an agreement about the amount and duration of spousal maintenance during the divorce process.

Court Awarded Spousal Maintenance

If there is no agreement between the spouses and a spouse petitions the court for spousal maintenance during the divorce, the court will consider several factors to determine if maintenance is appropriate given the particular situation. Illinois courts look at the length of the marriage, the income and assets of each spouse, both spouses’ financial needs, and their earning potential when determining whether spousal maintenance should be awarded.

The court can also consider other factors, such as one spouse’s contributions to the other’s education or career. The court may determine that if one spouse aided the other’s career or education, that spouse should be compensated for their efforts through spousal maintenance.

Typically, the amount a spouse pays in spousal maintenance is determined by a formula that takes both spouses' incomes into account. The payer's annual maintenance obligation is equal to 33 percent of the obligor's net income minus 25 percent of the recipient's net income.

Maintenance obligations are usually temporary. The payments give the recipient time to get back on his or her feet. The duration of court-awarded maintenance payments is usually based on the duration of the couple's marriage. Spouses who were married longer are typically entitled to a longer spousal maintenance award than spouses who were married for a short period of time.

Contact a DuPage County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, contact our Wheaton divorce attorneys at Goostree Law Group for help understanding your spousal maintenance obligation. Call 630-364-4046 for a free initial consultation.



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