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Will I Receive Spousal Support Following My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Crystal Lake spousal support attorneyDivorcing couples usually have a number of questions and concerns about spousal support—also known as alimony or maintenance—when they begin to address financial arrangements at the end of their marriage. One of the most pressing questions for most spouses is whether or not they are eligible for maintenance at all, and if so, how that decision is reached.

Determining the Need for Maintenance

It is understandable to want to know how much you must pay your spouse or how much you are eligible to receive, but the answers to these questions are not cut and dry. The court handles spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis, taking a number of factors into consideration to first determine whether or not alimony is appropriate. Illinois law requires the court to consider all of the following factors before deciding to grant an alimony award to either spouse:

  • The present needs of each party

  • Each spouse’s current earning capacity

  • Any impairments related to earning capacity, such as inability to secure employment or lack of training or education

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The standard of living of each party throughout the marriage

  • The physical and emotional condition of each party

  • Any contributions made by either spouse to the earning capacity of the other

  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant to the case

While it may be surprising to some people, the court must make determinations regarding spousal support without giving any consideration to marital misconduct by either spouse. This means that infidelity and even episodes of domestic abuse will not affect your eligibility for maintenance or the amount that you will receive.

Calculating Maintenance Awards

Once the court has considered all of the relevant factors and determined that maintenance is, in fact, appropriate, the amount and duration of the support order must be established. In cases where the spouses’ combined income is $500,000 per year or less and there are no previous support obligations for either spouse, the court is expected to use a statutory calculation formula. This formula is a function of each spouse’s income, and it is designed to provide more maintenance when the income disparity between the spouses is greater. For couples who make more than $500,000 or have previous support obligations, the court is permitted to set a maintenance amount that is fair and equitable to both parties.

The law also provides a method for calculating the duration of a maintenance order based on the length of the marriage. Because it is a weighted calculation, longer marriages result in proportionately longer support orders. For marriages of 20 years or more, an indefinite support order may be entered.

Contact a McHenry County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

For some couples, the subject of spousal support will never even be discussed. Some individuals are able to provide for themselves without help from their former spouse, and some individuals prefer to bypass the entire issue altogether. For some, however, alimony can make a significant difference in the quality of life following a divorce. If you would like to learn how best to pursue spousal support in your divorce, speak with an experienced Crystal Lake divorce attorney. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC today.




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