Spousal maintenance is often highly contested in a divorce. For lower-earning spouses (including those who may not be employed), spousal maintenance is critical, as living expenses go on long after a divorce is granted. Conversely, higher-earning spouses will typically want to avoid or minimize maintenance payments to a former spouse.
As a Rockford spousal maintenance lawyer with decades of experience, I stand ready to help you navigate the complexities of divorce, including issues pertaining to spousal support/alimony, and complex asset division. I represent both spouses seeking maintenance as well as spouses opposing maintenance awards throughout Northern Illinois.
I invite you to call my office today at 815-904-6246 to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can tenaciously fight to protect your rights and interests.
I also encourage you to read the following article to learn about frequently asked questions regarding the alimony and spousal support process.
Spousal maintenance, previously referred to as alimony, is the payment for support from one ex-spouse to the other. Maintenance is typically sought by a spouse who may have forgone a career to care for a couple’s children (or who made other career sacrifices), or who may be ill or older (and thus who may have current limited employment options).
The purpose of spousal maintenance is to financially help a spouse who is not employed (or readily-employable) during divorce proceedings and after a divorce. Typically, such payments are meant to be a “bridge” until such spouse can become employed, and to recognize (where applicable) the employment sacrifices that this spouse may have made for the betterment of the marriage and family.
In Illinois, Spousal Maintenance is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Illinois Divorce Act”). Unlike with child support, there are no set of statutory guidelines for determining whether maintenance should be granted or the amount that should be awarded.
Section 5/504 of the Illinois Divorce Act directs the Court to consider a set of factors in granting or denying spousal maintenance and in determining the amount. These factors include:
In short, the Court has much greater discretion in either awarding or denying spousal maintenance and in setting the amount of maintenance than the Court has with respect to child support.
Because of the degree of judicial discretion in determining maintenance, it is critical that a spouse seeking to obtain (or minimize) maintenance retain a knowledgeable, detail-oriented spousal maintenance attorney who can advocate vigorously on their behalf and make a strong presentation for their case. This typically entails a thorough investigation of matters such as current lifestyle and earning capacity so that such facts can be presented to the Court.
Yes. There are four types of spousal support that may be awarded in an Illinois divorce, including:
When making spousal maintenance determinations, Illinois divorce courts typically adhere to the following guidelines:
Under Illinois law, if an individual waives the right to spousal maintenance in a final divorce settlement, they will be precluded from seeking and obtaining maintenance in the future. Consequently, it is critical to assess long-term financial needs from the outset.
As a Rockford alimony lawyer, once I learn of your situation and circumstances, I can help you understand what factors argue for or against the payment of maintenance, and presenting a concise, compelling argument to the court on your behalf in seeking your objectives.
When you are facing a divorce and your future standard of living is at stake, you need a capable attorney whom you can trust and who will fight for you when necessary concerning maintenance payments.