Tag Archives: spousal maintenance

IL divorce lawyerIn an Illinois divorce, one spouse may seek spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is intended to help one person in the divorce become financially stable so that in the future, they are able to support themselves. In many cases, one spouse may have given up their job to stay home and care for the children, go back to school, or another endeavor that kept them from working. Although in some cases, a judge may award one spouse alimony on a permanent basis, these cases are very rare. Truthfully, there are instances in which alimony can be terminated in the state, and it is important that both the receiver and the payer know when this may occur.

When Either Party Dies

When either spouse dies, spousal maintenance is terminated. Naturally, if the payer dies, they are no longer able to pay alimony, and if the receiver dies, they no longer need it.

When the Recipient Remarries

Spousal maintenance is only intended to help one spouse get back on their feet financially after a divorce. When a recipient of alimony gets married to another person, the court will assume that there is now another income to help support the recipient. As such, a judge will usually terminate a previous alimony order at that time. The termination will likely not occur until the remarriage is final.

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IL divorce lawyerUnlike child support in Illinois, spousal maintenance is not awarded in every divorce case. A judge will weigh every case on its own merits and determine whether a need for maintenance exists. If you believe that you deserve spousal maintenance as part of your divorce, it is important to review some important factors to determine if you are eligible, and then explicitly ask the judge to consider awarding you spousal maintenance.

Marital Misconduct Is Not Considered

When one spouse’s wrongdoing contributed to the breakdown of the marriage, such as if they had an affair, the other spouse often thinks that is enough to obtain spousal maintenance. This is not true. Spousal maintenance is intended to help you if the divorce will leave you in financial hardship. Illinois law specifically prohibits judges from considering marital misconduct when making determinations about spousal maintenance. Although misconduct may play a part in other aspects of the divorce, such as property division, it is not a consideration in maintenance decisions.

Lower Earning Potential

While marital misconduct is not considered in spousal maintenance decisions, your earning potential is a factor. If, during the marriage, you were unable to reach your full earning potential, a judge will consider that when making maintenance decisions. For example, you may have planned to go to school to secure a better career but put those plans on hold so your spouse could pursue their lucrative career. In this case, a judge will likely determine that you contributed to your spouse’s earning capacity and so, award you spousal maintenance. Although in this scenario maintenance may be only temporary until you can increase your earning potential, it will help with your case.

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IL divorce lawyerAnyone entering into a divorce should understand the many different terms associated with the process, and alimony is just one of them. Alimony, also referred to as maintenance in Illinois, is a very misunderstood aspect of divorce. Some spouses think they are entitled to it when they are not, while others never think to ask for it, yet they qualify for alimony payments. To clear up any confusion on this important aspect of divorce, the four most common questions surrounding alimony are answered below.

What is Alimony?

The term alimony refers to a monetary amount that one spouse pays to the other after divorce. In some cases, one spouse may also pay alimony during the divorce. A judge will typically award alimony to one spouse when there is a large discrepancy between the income of the two spouses or when one spouse will be left in financial hardship after the divorce. The purpose of alimony is to place each spouse in the same financial position after the divorce is finalized.

Are There Different Types of Alimony in Illinois?

A spouse is allowed under Illinois law to ask for temporary alimony when a divorce case is pending. A judge will consider the income of each spouse, any child support orders, and if the requesting spouse is in need of financial support. Temporary alimony orders are typically dissolved when the divorce is final and the judge creates a new alimony order.

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IL divorce lawyerIt is true that divorce is declining across the United States, but the rates of gray divorce are increasing. Gray divorces are those that occur when a person is over the age of 50. When considering divorce as a person gets older, many think that it is going to be simpler. After all, there often are not issues such as child custody or child support to consider.

However, there are other issues to think about in gray divorce, and these issues do not come up with other types of divorces. Two main issues, in fact, are more present in gray divorces than any other. Those factors are spousal maintenance and retirement accounts.

Spousal Maintenance

Many divorces in Illinois do not involve alimony or, as the state refers to it, spousal maintenance. Maintenance is typically only awarded when the divorce is going to leave one spouse at a significant financial disadvantage. For example, if one parent stays at home to raise the children while the other advances their career, the courts will likely award the stay-at-home parent spousal maintenance so the stay-at-home parent is not left in financial hardship after the divorce. When maintenance is awarded under these circumstances, it is typically just temporary.

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IL divorce attorneyIf you are like other men facing an inevitable divorce, you are likely dealing with a lot of frustration and confusion. Divorce can be a slow and painful process, or it can happen so fast you are not sure how it even came up. Many men assume a lot of things about divorce – whether true or not – simply because of rumors and a lifetime of hearing horror stories about their fathers, uncles, workmates, and others who have been allegedly “fleeced” or “taken to the cleaners” by their ex-wives. With so many stereotypes and myths out there, men tend to enter the process already assuming the worst and thinking their situation is hopeless. The good news is, with proper representation, a solid plan, and the determination to make legally sound choices, most men come through divorce just fine.

One area where men are most confused is the subject of alimony (“maintenance,” as it is called in Illinois). If you are truly concerned about how much maintenance you may have to pay or you feel that your wife should be paying maintenance, definitely consider talking to a Hinsdale divorce lawyer today. But before you let your wife’s attorney convince you to sign something waiving alimony, consider this.

Maintenance Has Nothing to Do with Gender

It seems most people intuitively already know this, but the myths and stereotypes are just so powerful. But it is true. There is no statute, no regulation, no jury instruction, and not a single court decision in modern times that says men must pay maintenance or that women should not. It is simply not part of the equation. To be sure, there is nothing in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act at 750 ILCS 5/457 that mentions which gender should receive or pay maintenance.

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