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Who is Entitled to Spousal Support in Illinois?

 Posted on May 05, 2020 in Divorce

If you are getting divorced, you may wonder whether or not you will be able to receive spousal maintenance. Also called spousal support or alimony, spousal maintenance refers to payments that a spouse makes to the other spouse after a divorce. Although women were traditionally the recipients of maintenance, spousal support laws apply the same to men as they do women. Spousal maintenance is typically ordered when there is a significant difference in the spouses’ financial circumstances or when a spouse sacrifices career or educational opportunities for the benefit of the household.

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts When Determining Spousal Support

There are two ways that a spouse may be considered eligible for spousal support. The first is when the couple have already made spousal support decisions through a prenuptial agreement. Unless there is a problem that invalidates the prenuptial agreement, the court will uphold the arrangements to which the spouses agreed.

The second way a spouse can receive spousal support is by petitioning the court for spousal support. Courts consider a range of factors when deciding whether or not spousal support is appropriate. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s assets and income
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and overall health
  • Each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
  • Any non-financial contributions made to the marriage such as contributions made as a homemaker or stay-at-home-parent
  • The time it will likely take the recipient spouse to gain suitable employment
  • Tax consequences of property division during divorce

How Much Support Does a Spouse Receive?

In most cases, spousal support payment amounts and the duration of payments are determined via statutory guidelines. The formula for calculating the amount of maintenance is a function of the income of both parties. The duration of the maintenance order is calculated based on the length of the marriage. The longer a couple has been married, the longer the recipient spouse will receive maintenance. In marriages of 20 years or more, permanent maintenance may be awarded.

Regardless of how much time remains on the order, maintenance automatically ends when the recipient spouse remarries. Additionally, if the recipient is cohabitating with a romantic partner, the paying spouse may petition the court for termination of the maintenance order.

Contact a Wheaton Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Whether you are pursuing spousal support or your spouse is requesting support, quality legal guidance from an experienced lawyer is key. For help with spousal maintenance, property division, child custody, and any other aspect of your divorce, contact Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC. Schedule a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney by calling our office today at 630-665-2500.


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