Financial issues often play a major factor throughout a marriage, and they can even cause a couple to divorce. In some cases, a couple may get used to a certain lifestyle during the marriage. Whether one spouse earned a substantially higher income, or the other spouse stayed home to raise children, a divorce can significantly impact their situations moving forward. When going through a divorce, spouses may wonder about the aftermath and how they can move on. Some of the typical fears are: “Can I afford to stay in the house?” or “How will I be able to pay bills?” Under Illinois law, one partner may be able to seek spousal maintenance once the marriage ends. A court will consider several factors when determining whether to award maintenance and what kind of payments are necessary.
Spousal Maintenance Payments
Illinois courts will look at different issues to determine if spousal maintenance (which is often referred to as alimony or spousal support) is warranted. These factors can include the income level of both spouses, their health and ages, and how long the marriage lasted. Support is based on need, and both women and men are eligible to receive payments. The following are three types of spousal maintenance payment options:
Permanent or Indefinite Maintenance: For marriages which lasted at least 20 years, Illinois allows for the payment of maintenance until one of the parties dies. However, payments can be terminated if the receiving spouse remarries or if the paying spouse retires.
Maintenance in Gross: This type of maintenance payment could be made in one lump sum or a designated number of installments. Although not as common, it is sometimes used to gain certain tax advantages.
Rehabilitative Maintenance: Also known as “reviewable maintenance” or “periodic maintenance,” this type of support may be paid for a short, fixed period of time or an indefinite amount of time. A case may be reviewed periodically to determine whether continued maintenance payments are necessary.
The purpose of spousal maintenance is not to punish or reward spouses but to allow a person to maintain their lifestyle after the end of their marriage. This kind of financial assistance is intended for lower-earning spouses, and it can help them make the transition to single life and give them time to get back on their feet and become self-supporting.
Every divorce is unique, and in some cases, the spouses can settle the terms of maintenance on their own. However, if a couple cannot come to an agreement on spousal support, they will have to resolve the issue through litigation in court, and a judge will decide whether to award maintenance. In either case, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure that all applicable factors are taken into account and that maintenance is determined correctly.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney
Going from being a married spouse to a single person can be a difficult transition. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll a divorce takes, but you may have to relocate and get a job to make ends meet. If you are worried about how to move on financially after the end of your marriage, you may be entitled to spousal support. Our skilled DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyers will help you determine your eligibility for maintenance and advocate for you to receive the support you need. Call the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free consultation.