In Illinois, there are a variety of factors that are considered when determining whether to award spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support). However, it is important to understand that there are different types of spousal support, and the type of maintenance awarded may play a role in determining how to proceed if your or your ex-spouse’s situation changes following your divorce. Here are some guidelines to follow so that you know what to expect if you are ever faced with spousal support dilemmas:
The Types of Spousal Maintenance in Illinois
There are three types of spousal support that may be awarded in an Illinois divorce case:
Fixed-term maintenance—In these cases, the court will designate an end date on which spousal support payments will be terminated. This means that maintenance will be expected to be paid throughout the term, but once the term ends, the spouse providing support will no longer be obligated to offer any additional support.
Indefinite maintenance—This is open-ended in such a way that there is no specific end date for spousal support. Indefinite maintenance will typically be awarded if a marriage lasted for at least 20 years. The only way for indefinite maintenance to be terminated before the death of either ex-spouse is if an order for modification of spousal support is granted.
Reviewable maintenance—The court may order spousal support for a specific period of time, with the understanding that at the end of this period, the court can review and reconsider the terms of spousal support terms, making adjustments as necessary or terminating the support obligations.
What to Do When the Terms of Spousal Support No Longer Apply
If either you or your ex-spouse have experienced a significant change in circumstances, you may believe that the original maintenance award no longer applies to your situation. In cases when either party has gotten remarried or experienced an increase or decrease in income, it may be time to initiate a modification of spousal support.
While these types of modifications may seek to terminate spousal maintenance, they may also be used to renegotiate the terms of spousal support. For instance, if you have lost your job or have significant health problems, this may require a change in the amount of support that you pay or receive. Substantial financial changes may justify such modifications, even in a fixed-term maintenance agreement.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
Whether you expect to have a fixed-term, indefinite, or reviewable maintenance agreement in your divorce, you will want to work with a Wheaton spousal support attorney to make sure the terms of that agreement will meet your ongoing financial needs. Andrew Cores Family Law Group has the knowledge and skill to help ensure that the laws regarding spousal support are applied correctly in your divorce. Give us a call at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.