What Is Considered When Awarding Maintenance in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton spousal maintenance lawyerIf you will be getting a divorce and expect to either receive spousal maintenance or provide spousal support to your former partner, you might want to know what a judge will consider when making a decision about who will owe what in terms of long-term maintenance and alimony. In cases where your and your spouse’s lawyers are working together to come to an agreement through collaborative law or mediation, knowing these factors might be even more helpful to you.

Deciding Factors In Spousal Support Determinations

While the following list is not exhaustive, these are the majority of the major factors taken into consideration when determining whether spousal support should be awarded in an Illinois divorce:

  • Income, which can include:

  • Marital and non-marital property

  • Each party’s needs and earning potential

  • Income-earning difficulties for the spouse expected to provide spousal support, such as:

    • Unemployment

    • Reduction in income or other demotion

    • Bankruptcy

  • Lack of earning potential due to obligations from the marriage, such as:

    • Domestic duties (stay-at-home parenting)

    • Forgoing or delaying education, training, employment, or other professional development and career progression due to the marriage

  • The time it will take for the spouse seeking support to acquire the necessary qualifications to enable self-sufficiency, which will often affect spousal support designations in terms of duration

  • The effects of decisions about parental responsibilities

  • The standard of living the spouses were accustomed to during the marriage

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The tax consequences to both spouses, if any

  • Contributions made by the spouse seeking support to the other spouse’s professional development

  • Any agreements between the spouses, including a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

In addition, the court (or, in the case of alternative dispute resolution, the spouses and their lawyers) may consider other “just and equitable” factors that should contribute to the final decision regarding spousal support. If maintenance is awarded, the amount and duration of the payments will be determined using formulas defined in Illinois law, and the results will be based on the income earned by both parties and the length of the marriage.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

As with most elements of the divorce process, determining the amount of spousal support is a complex and nuanced matter that requires a comprehensive, detailed, and fair review of all relevant factors. To get that kind of thorough and respectful treatment, you will need the assistance of a DuPage County spousal support attorney who has the compassion and skill to guide you down the proper path. Contact Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. We will help you make sure the terms of spousal support are in your favor.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frawleypollock/2019/04/30/alimony-and-child-support-what-judges-consider-about-your-income/#72a47ae21206

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