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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:

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Posted on in Spousal Support

cohabitation, Wheaton divorce attorneyIn most cases, spousal maintenance is used as  a tool to help newly divorced people adapt from a two-income household to two single-income households. Eventually, maintenance ceases, usually after a financial goal or time limit is reached - however, in Illinois and a handful of other states, it can end earlier. Cohabitating after your divorce is final, in particular, can have unintended consequences.

A “Substantial Change in Circumstances”

Generally in Illinois, maintenance is ordered by the family court or agreed upon between the spouses. It will be granted to the spouse the court deems to be in the most need of it, based on a number of factors. Some of the most important include:

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