Tag Archives: maintenance

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Alimony in Illinois?

DuPage County spousal support lawyerAlimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, is a payment from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse during divorce or after the divorce has been finalized. There are various forms of spousal support, and these may be awarded based on the needs of the lower-earning spouse and the means of the higher-earning spouse to pay. A few examples of types of spousal support include reimbursement alimony, lump-sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony for vocational training or education, temporary alimony paid during the divorce, and permanent alimony.

In most cases, alimony is not permanent; instead, it is set for a specified length of time and, after that time period ends, the payments will cease. As a potential paying spouse or receiving spouse, you likely have questions about how the court makes a decision about alimony, or how both parties may reach a mutual decision about alimony outside of the courtroom. A skilled DuPage County spousal support attorney can provide all the details you need to know and assist you in reaching an outcome that provides for your financial needs.

How The Court Awards Alimony

According to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/504, the following factors are used to determine whether maintenance is appropriate:

  • The income and property of each party
  • The needs of each party
  • The future earning capacity of each party
  • Any potential impairment of the spouse seeking alimony
  • The time necessary for the alimony-seeking spouse to acquire training, education, employment, etc.
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, health, occupation, vocational skills, etc. of each party
  • Other forms of income earned by each party, such as disability
  • The tax consequences of alimony payments for each party
  • Any contributions and services made by the spouse seeking alimony on behalf of the higher earning spouse, such as career advancement and homemaking
  • Any other relevant factors

If the court determines that an alimony award is appropriate, statutory guidelines will be used to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance payments. The amount of payments will be based on the income earned by both parties, and the length of time payments will be made will be based on the length of the marriage. However, if the spouses earn a combined gross annual income of $500,000 or more, the court may deviate from these guidelines and award maintenance that it believes is appropriate.

Does the Spouses’ Sex Have Anything to Do With Alimony?

Alimony should never be awarded based on the sex of divorcing spouses. However, middle-aged, married men with at least a high school diploma earn, on average, over $80,000 per year. Married women of the same age earn, on average, roughly $50,000 per year, which is a 40 percent difference. As such, men are more likely to pay spousal support than women. This is a generalization, not a rule; 38 percent of wives earn more than their husbands. In these cases, alimony may be awarded to the husband.

Our DuPage County Alimony Lawyers Can Help

Spousal support is a powerful tool that can provide a lower-earning spouse with a means to education and allow them to maintain the standard of living they have grown accustomed to. On the other hand, as a paying spouse, you likely want to limit the impact that alimony payments will have on your own financial well-being. In either case, the skilled Wheaton spousal support attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can advocate for your interests and help you reach a positive outcome to your divorce. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.




Am I Entitled to Long-Term Spousal Support after My Divorce?

support, Wheaton divorce lawyersUnder 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.

Court-Ordered Maintenance

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.




Spousal Support for Stay-at-Home Parents After Divorce

support, Wheaton divorce lawyersWhile times have changed and there is no longer a cultural expectation for a parent—usually a mother—to sacrifice their career and stay home to raise a couple’s children, many couples choose such an arrangement. A stay-at-home parent plays a very important, and often underestimated, role in not only the lives of the children but in the running of the household as well. A divorce, however, can have a significant impact on a stay-at-home parent, as the parent may face serious financial concerns. If you are a stay-at-home parent facing the possibility of a divorce, there are some options that could help minimize the impact of the split.

Maintenance Laws in Illinois

The primary method of helping stay-at-home parents after divorce is called “maintenance” in Illinois law. Also known as alimony or spousal support, maintenance refers to payments made by one spouse to the other following a divorce. Under Illinois law, maintenance is not automatic and it is only awarded when the parties agree to it or the court determines that a need for it exists. You being a stay-at-home parent might be a major consideration, but there are other factors that the court must take into account as well, including:

  • Your contributions to the overall well-being of the family, including those you made as a stay-at-home parent and homemaker;
  • The extent to which you sacrificed your career;
  • Your ability to generate income after the divorce, and whether doing so is appropriate in light of your child custody arrangements;
  • The length of your marriage and the lifestyle you enjoyed during the marriage; and
  • Whether you received a larger portion of the marital property instead of continuing maintenance payments.

Putting the Pieces Together

There are many different reasons and ways to arrange a stay-at-home parenting situation. How and why you set yours up will be looked at by the court when determining whether to award maintenance. For example, if you were married for about five years and you just recently left your job to care for your first child, spousal support could be possible, but it is not guaranteed. On the other hand, if you got married right out of high school and stayed home for 20 years to raise your children while your spouse progressed quickly through the ranks in his career, your case for maintenance payments would be much stronger.

Contact Us for Help

There are many factors and variables that lead a couple to choose a stay-at-home parenting situation, and every one of them could affect the court’s decision regarding maintenance. If you are facing a divorce and are uncertain about your future, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.