Am I Entitled to Long-Term Spousal Support after My Divorce?
Under the law in Illinois, children have to right to expect financial support from both parents, regardless of the adults’ marital situation. The same is not true, however, for divorcing spouses. While there may be situations in which long-term spousal maintenance is appropriate, there is no inherent assumption that it will be granted. Instead, in the absence of an agreement either at the time of divorce or prior, such as a prenuptial agreement, the court will examine the applicable circumstances and decide if an order for spousal support is necessary.
Negotiated Maintenance and Prenuptial Agreements
Most aspects of divorce can be settled fairly amicably through the process of negotiation. You and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement regarding spousal support with an arrangement that works for your particular situation. Spousal maintenance provisions can also be included in a prenuptial agreement, created prior to your marriage. As long as such agreements are workable and relatively fair, they are likely to be accepted by the court.
When you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement regarding support, the court will review the circumstances of your marriage and divorce. It will be up to the judge to decide whether or not to award spousal maintenance, and to determine the amount to be paid based upon provisions in the law. The court is expected to take into account:
- The income and property of each spouse, including the portion of the marital estate each is receiving and the resulting tax consequences;
- The needs of each spouse;
- The current and anticipated earning capacity of each spouse;
- The impact on each spouse’s earning capacity based on roles in the marriage and family;
- The standard of living established in the marriage;
- The length of the marriage;
- The age and health of each spouse;
- The contributions of the spouse seeking maintenance toward the other spouse’s earning capacity;
- The time necessary for the spouse seeking maintenance to become self-sufficient, if even possible; and
- Any other factors deemed to be just and equitable.
If the court determines that maintenance is appropriate, the law provides a formula for calculating the recommended amount and duration of the award for most cases. The court may deviate from the formula, however, based on findings of fact related to the individual couple’s situation.
There are a large number of factors that could impact your requirement to pay spousal support or your eligibility to receive it, and an experienced DuPage County family law attorney can help you navigate the process. Contact the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation and get the answers you need to whatever questions you may have. Call 630-871-1002 for an appointment.