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Three Things to Consider When Divorcing an Unemployed Spouse in Illinois

 Posted on June 21, 2021 in Divorce

dupage county divorce lawyer Divorce is never easy, but it is made even more difficult when one spouse cannot or will not work. Studies show that divorce is substantially more likely among heterosexual couples when the husband is not employed. The working spouse may feel frustrated by months or years of supporting the household but may also feel guilty for potentially cutting off the non-working spouse’s source of income. 

Divorcing an unemployed spouse does not have to be a nightmare. Along with hiring an experienced divorce attorney, here are three things to consider when divorcing an unemployed spouse. 


Alimony, or spousal support, is given to the lesser-earning former spouse to make sure they are able to maintain the kind of lifestyle they had during the marriage. The factors the court takes into consideration during the alimony ruling will include why the non-working spouse did not work. Spouses may also reach an agreement about alimony, called spousal maintenance in Illinois law, through mediation, collaborative law, or lawyer-assisted negotiations. 

If a wife and husband agreed that the husband would work outside the home and the wife would raise their children, the wife is likely to be awarded more spousal support than in a divorce in which the wife chose not to work. 

Child Support

During a divorce, the spouse who makes less money will often get awarded child support. Whether a spouse will receive child support is determined by a number of factors, the most relevant of which is the amount of parenting time allotted to the spouse. Child support is determined by a statutory formula in Illinois. The amount of child support that a spouse receives depends on the difference between the parents’ respective net incomes. 

Marital Property

Illinois is an “equitable division” state – this means that, rather than having marital assets be divided 50/50, the law states that courts must divide property equitably. But Illinois law treats marriage as a joint enterprise. If spouses agree that one will work and the other will raise children and be a housekeeper, Illinois law can see the contributions of a housekeeper as substantially similar to financial earnings. This means that the marital property may be split as if the housekeeping and child-rearing parent was working and earning money. 

Speak With a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce and your spouse is unemployed, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Wheaton, Illinois divorce attorney. The lawyers at Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., can help you understand Illinois divorce law and find out the best options available to you. Contact us today at 630-462-9500 for a confidential consultation. 





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