630-462-9500

After Hour New Client Telephone Number 630-690-6077

1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

DuPage County spousal support lawyerIllinois courts award spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) when a divorcing spouse requires monetary assistance based on his or her financial and employment circumstances. There are many different factors that determine whether a spouse receives support and the amount of support he or she is entitled to. If a couple has signed a valid marital agreement dictating the terms of spousal maintenance, Illinois courts will typically uphold the terms contained in the agreement. Otherwise, if a spouse wishes to receive spousal maintenance, he or she must petition the court and explain his or her need for support.  

Alimony May Be Temporary, Fixed, Reviewable, or Indefinite

The type, amount, and duration of spousal maintenance is based on the needs of the spouse seeking support, the financial resources of both spouses, and the amount of time the couple was married. There are four main categories of spousal maintenance in Illinois:

  • Temporary maintenance: Temporary maintenance is awarded to a spouse when he or she needs financial support during the divorce proceedings. An order for temporary maintenance terminates when the divorce is finalized. Spouses requiring this type of support can include a petition for temporary maintenance when they file for divorce, or they can submit a petition for temporary relief after the initial filing.

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Wheaton divorce lawyerIf you are planning to divorce, you probably have questions about alimony or spousal maintenance. There are two avenues through which maintenance is typically awarded in Illinois: a marital agreement or a court order. If you and your spouse have already decided upon a spousal maintenance arrangement through a valid prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement, you will likely be subject to the terms contained in that agreement. If no such agreement exists, you or your spouse may petition the court for a spousal maintenance order during your divorce. If you are considering divorce, it is important to know the basics of how and when spousal support is awarded in Illinois.

Is Spousal Maintenance Always Ordered During an Illinois Divorce?

Only a small number of divorce cases involve an order for spousal support. When determining whether or not a spouse is entitled to maintenance, the courts consider a variety of economic and circumstantial factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s income, assets, present earning capacity, and future earning capacity.

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Considering Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Your Divorce

Wheaton spousal maintenance lawyerEvery divorce is completely unique in various ways, but almost all divorces come with unanticipated complications. Whether these complications include child custody, asset division, or prenuptial agreements, divorce proceedings can be long, tiring, and emotionally trying. In the vast majority of divorce cases, finances become a top priority for both parties and their legal teams, and in many cases, the biggest financial issue becomes the financial dependency of one of the spouses. 

Spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) ensures that a spouse who earns less than their ex-partner does not suffer from financial problems in the aftermath of the divorce. A spousal maintenance plan requires a higher-earning spouse to make payments to their ex-spouse for a certain period of time following the divorce, allowing them to meet their financial needs until they can become self-sufficient.

How Spousal Maintenance Is Determined 

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Several matters can create contention in divorce, but few can spark as much fear and emotion as spousal maintenance. On the one hand, you have a spouse that feels they are entitled to support. On the other, you have a spouse that feels they either should not or cannot pay the amount of support requested. Who is correct, and how does a judge decide? The following explains, and it provides details on how you can contest a request for spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance Basics

Despite the common misconception, alimony is not automatically awarded in divorce. Instead, it is determined by a judge. In making that decision, the judge may weigh and consider a variety of factors, including:

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While not all divorces include a provision of alimony, those who are eligible may struggle with deciding whether or not they should pursue it. These feelings can arise for any number of reasons, including uncertainty over how the process works. If you are in the process of divorce and feeling conflicted about your right to alimony, the following information may be able to help.

When May Alimony Be Included in a Divorce?

Because each situation is unique, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not you may be eligible for alimony without first examining your case. However, there are some factors that may indicate that you could be eligible for spousal support in your divorce. These are the same factors that a judge might use to decide if a maintenance award would be appropriate, which may include:

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