Tag Archives: alimony

GOP Income ProposalYour maintenance payments to your ex-spouse will no longer be income tax deductible to you if the Senate passes the pending GOP Income Tax Proposal.

Historically, upon divorce the one spouse usually the husband pays alimony (maintenance) to an ex-spouse. Those alimony payments would be income tax deductible to the paying spouse and income taxable to the receiving spouse. That is all about to change.

Under the Republican Tax Plan the maintenance deduction would be eliminated for alimony (maintenance) payments.

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Illinois divorce lawyerMarriage is a partnership, and spouses often make sacrifices during their relationship as they support their partner and their family. In many cases, one spouse will decide to stay home to care for children rather than pursuing career advancement, or a spouse may provide financial support to their partner as they pursue an education that will help them earn a higher salary. However, if the marriage ends in divorce, the spouse who made sacrifices is often at a financial disadvantage, and they may struggle to support themselves in their newly single life.

Following a divorce, both spouses should be able to maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed while they were married. When one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the other spouse may be awarded spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony).

Determining Maintenance in Illinois

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Illinis divorce lawyerCommon wisdom states that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, although this isn’t exactly true. While the actual divorce rate is difficult to determine, it is likely somewhere between 40 and 50%. And that is not the only misconception people have about divorce. Since few people plan for divorce, they are often unaware of the legal aspects that come with dissolving their marriage. Here are some other myths that have sprung up around divorce:

  1. Adultery is a factor in property division - Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning the only reason necessary for divorce is that spouses have “irreconcilable differences.” Whether one spouse cheated on the other has no bearing on how marital property is distributed between the spouses. The one exception to this is if a spouse dissipated marital assets (that is, they spent money or incurred debt) while pursuing an affair, in which case the allocation of assets and debts during divorce may be adjusted to compensate for this dissipation.

  1. The wife will get custody of the kids - In the past, husbands often acted as the breadwinner for their family, with wives staying at home to raise the children. This meant that wives would often retain primary custody of children following divorce. However, times have changed, and in most modern marriages, both parents work and share parental responsibilities. Child custody arrangements will likely reflect parents’ roles during the marriage, with either the mother or father having primary custody, or parents sharing parenting time equally.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Ilinois alimony attorneyDivorce is not an easy task, nor is it inexpensive. Sometimes the financial burden is so daunting that many choose to stay in an unfavorable situation. Economic struggle is unnecessary, as there are options that may be available to you, given your circumstances. One such option is alimony. Also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, this is a payment made to you by your ex-spouse during a separation or after a divorce. Not everyone qualifies in every situation, but it is useful for those who would otherwise be financially burdened by a divorce.

What Is Alimony?

The ideal goal of divorce is to have two individuals arrive at the same standard of living once the divorce is complete. One issue is, for some reason or another, both spouses do not always make the same amount of money. Perhaps one was the homemaker while the other worked in an office. Maybe there was a difference in salaries, and one partner became the primary breadwinner. If your economic situation is vastly different from your spouse, alimony may be an option. A court order made by a family court judge may require that the higher-earning spouse makes regular payments to the other spouse for a temporary or permanent amount of time.

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For Illinois residents contemplating divorce this year, recent changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) regarding spousal maintenance may prove a hot topic of discussion with your qualified divorce attorney.

As of January 1, 2015, couples opting for divorce in Illinois will be subject to new standardized rules for calculating the amount and length of court-ordered spousal support or alimony payments. Although this amendment adds a new legal narrative to the financial responsibility of one spouse to another, currently there are no changes in how the court determines whether or not financial support is required.

When entering into the divorce process, both spouses should familiarize themselves with the Illinois Marriage Act to be better equipped to discuss all facets of Illinois family law with their respective divorce attorney, especially when it comes to receiving a fair and equitable outcome when considering financial security.

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