Navigating Spousal Support in Illinois

Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Family Law, Northbrook Attorney

Navigating Spousal Support in Illinois

If you are going through a divorce or about to get into the process, the issue of spousal support may be one of the burning topics you have on your mind. In Illinois, spousal support or alimony is known as maintenance, and it can be awarded to help with child support, medical expenses, and other household expenses. 

This blog post takes a look at what spousal support entails in Illinois and what to expect from it. 

What is spousal support?

Spousal support refers to payments made by one spouse to another for reasonable needs post-divorce. You and your spouse may be able to agree on how one of you will pay the other an amount in support for a period of time. If you both agree, you can have a written agreement for this. Otherwise, you will need to request alimony during your divorce proceedings. The judge over your case decides the amount, frequency, and duration of these payments. 

The amount of spousal support paid out to one party usually depends on the financial situation of both spouses and how long they have been married. However, it cannot be more than half the paying spouse’s income 

Types of Spousal Support 

In Illinois, the court grants two categories of spousal support; temporary and long-term spousal maintenance. Temporary spousal maintenance caters to the spouse during the divorce process, while the latter is paid out after the divorce is finalized. 

Temporary Spousal Maintenance 

The judge can grant a petition for temporary spousal maintenance if the petition contains an affidavit showing why the maintenance is needed. Such a petition will include supporting documents that show income. There may be a hearing to determine the worthiness of the petition. 

Long-Term Spousal Maintenance 

A judge can grant post-divorce maintenance in Illinois. There are three different categories for such payments, which are 

  • Long-term maintenance payments with a termination date, after which the ex-spouse is no longer required to make payments for maintenance. 
  • Indefinite support which guarantees a payment until otherwise modified for a reasonable cause
  • A maintenance award for a specified period that can be recalled at a later date. The court decides this payment and whether or not it continues. 

How does it Work? 

Spousal support is meant to help one spouse financially, sometimes as a way to make up for lost income if one spouse had lost their job or had to quit due to the marriage. The amount of spousal support paid is usually determined by several factors, including: 

  • Each spouse’s income
  • How long the marriage lasted, and the standard of living during the marriage 
  • The age, occupation, health, and needs of both spouses 
  • Each spouse’s financial history and ability/inability to earn income during the marriage 
  • Parental responsibilities and the effect on earning capacity 
  • Previous provisions for marital property division, such as prenups 
  • Issues around the impairment of earning capacity due to the marriage 

If you are going through a divorce and need legal assistance, contact the law offices of Hecht-Schondorf today! We have the experience and skills you need to ensure your divorce outcomes are as you need them to be. Get in touch here.