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Wheaton, IL alimony lawyerIn a divorce, the court aims to ensure that both parties can maintain a reasonable standard of living, especially when one spouse has a disability. Today, we will seek to provide a comprehensive understanding of whether a disabled spouse will be granted lifetime alimony in an Illinois divorce, incorporating various factors considered by the courts in such cases. If you are getting divorced and are concerned about alimony determinations or anything else related to your divorce, contact an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you throughout your divorce case.

Defining Alimony and Disability 

In Illinois, alimony is most often referred to as “spousal maintenance.” Spousal maintenance refers to the financial support one spouse provides after a divorce. The court has broad discretion in determining maintenance awards. Disability, on the other hand, is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Disability can significantly impact an individual’s income-earning potential, resulting in a potential need for lifetime alimony.

The Factors Considered 

To determine maintenance awards in cases involving disabled spouses, the Illinois court takes into account various factors. These may include the duration of the marriage, the income of each party as well as their capacity to earn, the standard of living enjoyed and established during the marriage, the age and health status of each spouse, financial needs, and any impairments preventing self-sufficiency. A disability may play a crucial role in establishing permanent or long-term alimony arrangements, but it does not guarantee full lifetime alimony to the disabled spouse. 


IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, divorce decrees are legal documentation of a divorce settlement that provides both parties with an agreement on how they will divide their assets and debts and decide issues such as child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. When a divorce decree is established, the terms set out within it serve as the legal outline of how the obligations of either party to the agreement will continue. One such of these obligations is spousal support, which is affected by remarriage in Illinois.

To ensure you understand how your divorce decree will be affected by you or your spouse remarrying, contact an experienced divorce attorney to ensure you completely understand the ways a remarriage will affect your divorce decree.

What You Need to Know About Spousal Support and Remarriage

When a receiving spouse remarries in Illinois, both spousal support and maintenance obligations end based on statutory stipulations. If the paying spouse remarries, their obligation to send alimony to their ex-spouse does not end. A receiving spouse in Illinois is expected to promptly and diligently notify their ex-spouse of their marriage. In cases where someone receiving payments gets remarried and fails to notify their ex-spouse, the paying spouse may be entitled to reimbursement of spousal support obligations once they are made aware of their ex-spouse's remarriage.


wheaton divorce lawyer for unfair alimony paymentsSpousal maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”) is one of the most contentious issues in an Illinois divorce or divorce order modification. The receiving spouse often feels entitled to maintenance, and the paying spouse often feels as though they cannot or should not have to pay someone they are no longer married to.  

Illinois law provides specific guidance for how courts determine how much, if any, spousal maintenance should be paid. It also provides for specific circumstances that can exclude a former spouse from receiving more maintenance payments. Read on to learn more about the factors a court considers when deciding spousal maintenance, and how you can contest a request.  

How is Spousal Maintenance Decided?  

Alimony is not necessarily given to spouses after a divorce. Every circumstance is slightly different, but there are several factors judges consistently consider when deciding on alimony payments. These include, but are not limited to: 


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.


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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