Different Types of Alimony in Illinois 

Posted on in spousal maintenance

dupage county divorce lawyerAlimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is financial support that can be granted to a spouse in a divorce. This is meant to help spouses unable to care for themselves financially after a divorce. For the court to decide to award spousal maintenance to a spouse, the court considers both parties' income and the marriage's length. The Illinois Marrige and Dissolution of Marrige Act describes three different types of alimony: fixed-term, reviewable, and indefinite. 

Fixed-Term Spousal Maintenance 

Fixed-term alimony involves payments that are provided by one spouse to the other for a set amount of time. The termination date for these payments is decided in advance. This type of alimony is appropriate for people who, after a divorce, have the potential for future employment with an income that allows them financial stability. The goal of fixed-term alimony is to give a person the time to become dependent on themself. 

Indefinite Term Spousal Maintenance 

Indefinite-term alimony is when a court orders permanent alimony with no termination date. This is appropriate when a spouse has no realistic employment opportunities or after the end of a long marriage—usually given to spouses who, during the marriage, took on the role of a stay-at-home parent or caretaker of the home. 


dupage county divorce laywerGetting a divorce does not always mean you will receive spousal support from your spouse afterward. If the couple does not have a valid prenuptial agreement dictating maintenance and cannot agree to a spousal maintenance arrangement, out of court, spousal maintenance decisions will be left up to a judge. The court uses a variety of factors to determine whether or not a maintenance award is appropriate. These factors include things such as each spouse’s age, health, occupation, income, earning potential, and any impairment to their employability or earning potential. Fighting for a maintenance payment can be a battle in itself. However, many divorcing spouses who depend on that support are also concerned with how long the payments will last.

Length of Spousal Maintenance

In many cases, spousal maintenance does not last forever. In fact, courts have moved away from spousal maintenance payments being the norm. In many cases these days, both spouses are employed and have income when they divorce, decreasing or eliminating the need for spousal support. However, if spousal support is deemed necessary and is awarded to the spouse, then the court will follow guidelines set out in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Illinois law states that the length of spousal maintenance payments is calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage in years by a specific factor. However, if the marriage lasted for 20 or more years, the court can decide to award maintenance indefinitely. For example, if a couple was married for 14 and a half years, the court would multiply 14.5 by .60 to come up with 8.7. This means that the couple in this example would be paying and receiving support for a little more than 8 and a half years. Maintenance automatically terminates when the recipient remarries. 

Discuss Your Case With a DuPage County Spousal Maintenance Attorney

For many couples, spousal maintenance can be a contested issue. If you and your spouse do not agree on the topic of spousal maintenance during your divorce, you should seek help from a skilled Wheaton, IL spousal maintenance lawyer to discuss your options. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney from the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call our office today at 630-871-1002.


Recent Blog Posts



Wheaton Office

400 S. County Farm Road
Suite 200
Wheaton, IL 60187


Oswego Office

123 W. Washington Street
Suite 334
Oswego, IL 60543


Contact Us