spousal support, DuPage County family law attorneysAs a general rule, when a couple gets divorced in Illinois, spousal support payments are ordered if one spouse’s income is significantly higher than the other’s, in the interest of equity. However, most of the time, these support payments are not intended to last forever. There are several different ways that spousal support is granted to a husband or wife, and modifications may be made after certain criteria have been fulfilled by the obligor or the obligee (or both), or in certain situations which are provided for in statutory law.

Rehabilitative Maintenance

One situation where spousal support is granted with the express intention that there will come a point when payments will slow or cease entirely is when one spouse requires temporary aid. It is still fairly common for Illinois couples to adhere to the old model of marriage where one spouse is the primary breadwinner and the other stays home with the children. As such, upon divorce, many homemakers have no income and outdated skills, and they cannot just jump back into the workforce. In these types of situations, a court may grant rehabilitative maintenance, also known as reviewable maintenance. This will last for a fixed period, determined by a number of factors, including the size of the income disparity, the length of the marriage, and whether or not any children were born of the marriage.


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cohabitation, Wheaton divorce attorneyIn most cases, spousal maintenance is used as  a tool to help newly divorced people adapt from a two-income household to two single-income households. Eventually, maintenance ceases, usually after a financial goal or time limit is reached - however, in Illinois and a handful of other states, it can end earlier. Cohabitating after your divorce is final, in particular, can have unintended consequences.

A “Substantial Change in Circumstances”

Generally in Illinois, maintenance is ordered by the family court or agreed upon between the spouses. It will be granted to the spouse the court deems to be in the most need of it, based on a number of factors. Some of the most important include:


Posted on in Spousal Support

spousal support, Wheaton divorce attorneysAside from child custody concern, spousal support is often among the most contentious issues in Illinois divorce cases. Unlike child support, which is subject to rigid state guidelines, judges have wider latitude to determine alimony or spousal support. The goal of spousal support is not to “punish” anyone, but to ensure the recipient spouse is not at a serious financial disadvantage once the divorce is final.

McHenry Court Considers $400,000 Per Month Alimony Request

Spousal support is exponentially more complicated when dealing with a high-asset divorce. Among other factors, the judge must take into account the couple's “standard of living” at the time of the divorce, as well as each spouse's current and future earning capacity. Put another way, the alimony award for a stay-at-home spouse married to a multi-millionaire may differ significantly from that of a working spouse who already has significant income.


Posted on in Spousal Support

spousal support, Wheaton family law attorneyDivorce is often a hardship that weighs heavily on nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. It can be emotionally and physically taxing, but it can also be financially damaging. Too many times does a couple stay together because it is economically easier. Both are used to a certain standard of living and feels as though they would not be able to support themselves if they went out on their own. One solution is to apply for spousal support.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is a payment that is made by one spouse to another after a divorce or separation. While spousal support is not always necessary, its main purpose it to help offset effects of divorce and to ensure that neither individual is left in poverty due to the divorce. Typically, this payment is calculated in order to assist both parties in the divorce maintain a similar standard of living after a divorce is final as was enjoyed during the marriage.


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