When Is Spousal Maintenance Ordered in an Illinois Divorce?
If you are considering divorce, you may have questions about alimony. Typically called spousal support or spousal maintenance under Illinois law, alimony is only ordered in certain situations. If you and your spouse agreed to spousal maintenance in your prenuptial agreement or another marital agreement, the court will most likely uphold this agreement. However, if there is a question as to the prenuptial agreement’s validity or enforceability, the spousal maintenance agreement may not be legally binding. In the absence of a valid marital agreement, spousal maintenance is awarded on a case-by-case basis.
Financial Support for Divorcing Spouses
Spousal maintenance is usually awarded by Illinois courts when there is a significant difference in the spouses’ financial situations. You may be entitled to spousal maintenance if you sacrificed employment advancement or educational opportunities for the betterment of the marriage or family. You and your spouse have the opportunity to negotiate your own arrangement for spousal maintenance; however, if you cannot reach an agreement, the court will make a decision for you.
When determining whether to award spousal maintenance to a spouse, Illinois courts consider:
Each spouse’s current financial circumstances and earning capacity
Any impairment to a spouse’s income-earning ability caused by time spent as a homemaker or parent
The duration of the marriage
The standard of living the spouses’ experienced during the marriage
Contributions that a spouse made to the other spouse’s education or career
The age and health of the spouses
Amount and Duration of Spousal Support in Illinois
If the court determines that spousal maintenance is appropriate, the amount and duration of alimony payments is typically determined by statutory formula. Illinois law states that maintenance payments are calculated by taking 33.33 percent of the payor spouse’s net income and subtracting 25 percent of the recipient’s net income. Maintenance payments are capped at 40 percent of the spouses’ combined net incomes. The duration of payments is largely based on the length of the marriage. The longer the spouses were married, the longer the recipient may be entitled to maintenance. The payor spouse is relieved of his or her maintenance obligation if the recipient remarries or passes away. The payor may petition the court to terminate the maintenance payments if the recipient spouse begins living with a romantic partner.
Contact a Batavia, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
If you are considering divorce and you want to learn more about spousal maintenance, contact Van Larson Law, P.C. Kane County family law attorney Van A. Larson has more than 39 years of legal experience and is highly qualified to represent and advise clients on a wide range of family law issues. Call our office today at 630-879-9090 to schedule a free initial consultation.