Barrington Alimony or Spousal Support Attorney

Throughout the course of a marriage, spouses become accustomed to a certain standard of living. How will divorce affect that? Will you be able to receive temporary or long-term support to help you maintain your lifestyle after marriage? Our highly accomplished, experienced Illinois family law attorneys can answer your questions about spousal support and maintenance.

Generally, judges in Illinois may order spousal support or maintenance during the divorce process and for a period of time after a divorce is finalized. The parties may agree to alimony as part of a prenuptial agreement or as part of a divorce settlement. A judge will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to award spousal support during and after a divorce.

Crystal Lake, Arlington Heights, and Barrington Spousal Maintenance Attorneys

At Manassa Law P.C., we can help you assess whether your situation warrants spousal support, and if so, the amount and duration thereof. To speak to one of our Palatine spousal support attorneys in a free consultation, call us at 866-661-9235.

To better serve our clients, we have multiple convenient office locations – Barrington and Crystal Lake – representing clients in Cook, McHenry, Lake, Kane, and DuPage Counties in such towns as Arlington Heights, Lakewood, and Palatine.

Temporary vs. Long-Term Spousal Support

There are two types of alimony in Illinois: temporary maintenance during the divorce and long-term spousal support. The question of whether alimony is appropriate is based on one spouse’s need for financial support as well as the other spouse’s ability to pay.

During the beginning of the divorce process, a dependent spouse may qualify to receive temporary spousal support or maintenance. This is for the purpose of being able to pay bills and maintain a reasonable standard of living. This support could remain in effect permanently – becoming long-term spousal support – after the divorce depending on a number of factors, primarily the need of the dependent spouse and income of the supporting spouse.

There are three types of long-term spousal support: 

  1. Terminable or fixed-term maintenance will end on a date set by the court. After this date, the dependent spouse is no longer eligible for spousal support.
  2. Indefinite maintenance will last until the award is modified or terminated because of a substantial change in circumstances.
  3. Reviewable maintenance is awarded for a specific term, which can be revisited at a later date. During a review, a court may renew, modify, or even cancel the alimony award.

Our family law attorneys can help you assess your situation and determine which type of spousal support you can expect.

Calculating Spousal Support in Illinois

Alimony is not mandatory in Illinois. Instead, the question of whether maintenance is appropriate is based on the spouses’ circumstances. A court will consider a variety of relevant factors, including:

  • the parties’ incomes;
  • the needs of each party;
  • the realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
  • any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking; maintenance due to devoting time to domestic duties or having given up or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage;
  • any impairment of the realistic present or future earning capacity of the party who would be paying maintenance;
  • the time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether they can support themselves through appropriate employment;
  • the effect of parental responsibilities and their effect on a party’s ability to seek or maintain employment;
  • the standard of living during the marriage;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties;
  • all sources of public and private income including disability and retirement income;
  • the tax consequences to each party;
  • contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
  • any valid agreement of the parties; and
  • any other factor the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.

For example, consider a situation where one spouse stayed home to take care of the kids. One of their children has significant disabilities and will not be able to live independently even as an adult. The parties filed for divorce in their late 50s. In this case, because the stay-at-home spouse has been out of the workforce for more than 30 years and must continue to provide care for their adult child, they may be entitled to alimony.

If a judge decides that maintenance is appropriate, then they will decide the appropriate amount. In Illinois, spousal support is either ordered as part of alimony guidelines or outside of the guidelines. This is referred to as either guideline or non-guideline maintenance.

If the gross annual income is less than $500,000, and the person paying support does not have to pay child support or alimony from another relationship, then the guideline maintenance will be 33.3% of their net annual income, minus 25% of the receiving spouse’s net annual income. Guideline maintenance cannot be for more than 40% of the combined net income of both spouses.

Once the guideline maintenance amount is calculated, the length of support is calculated based on the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasted for 20 or more years, then maintenance can be for a period equal to the length of the marriage or for a longer term. 

Courts can deviate from the alimony guidelines if the factors that they analyzed in deciding to award maintenance. In doing so, the judge must provide a written explanation of the amount and duration of maintenance under the guidelines, along with an explanation of why they are departing from the guidelines.

For all maintenance decisions, judges must issue written findings. This order must include a discussion of each factor that they considered in deciding to award or deny maintenance. If alimony is awarded, this decision must state whether the support is fixed-term, indefinite, or reviewable.

Compensation Through Property Division

It is considered preferable by the courts to sever ties between spouses as much as possible, allowing them to move forward after the divorce. With that in mind, where possible, Courts compensate a dependent spouse through property division to avoid the need for spousal support.

There may be situations where spousal support is still necessary. In those cases, you may petition the court for temporary maintenance and/or long-term spousal support. For some individuals, this may be the best way to maintain financial stability during and after a divorce.

Contact Manassa Law P.C., | Answers to Your Illinois Alimony Questions

Going through a divorce can be challenging even when the split is amicable. It can also be confusing, particularly when you are unsure of your rights. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to – or required to pay – alimony under Illinois law.

At Manassa Law, we have significant experience handling all types of family law matters, including divorce, property division, and spousal support. We work with our clients to help them understand their rights and their options when it comes to alimony. To learn more about your rights and responsibilities regarding spousal support and maintenance, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced, accomplished lawyer.

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