Traditionally, it was assumed that the man works to support his family financially while the woman, though she may have had a career before she was married, would quit her job to stay home and take care of the children and the home. Because of that, many women would be in a state of financial distress if they got divorced because they did not have any income of their own - which is where alimony came in.
In Illinois, alimony is called spousal support or spousal maintenance. These days, it is no unusual to see the man acting as the stay-at-home parent, or neither parent being a stay-at-home parent. Spousal maintenance is an important part of any divorce in which one spouse decided to sacrifice career for his or her family.
Maintenance is not guaranteed to all divorcing couples. In some cases, the court will decide that maintenance is not appropriate or not needed. When making this determination, Illinois courts look factors such as the needs of each spouse, whether a spouse quit their career to tend to children or the home and the earning potential of each spouse....