Tag Archives: Spousal Support

IL divorce lawyerAfter a divorce, entering into a romantic relationship with another partner is very exciting. Many times, people even want to get remarried, which is another exciting prospect. However, if you are considering remarriage after getting a divorce, there are some very important factors to consider first. Any new marriage you enter into will not only affect you and your new spouse, but also your former spouse and your children.

Spousal Maintenance Considerations

If you are receiving spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, a remarriage will have a great impact on it. In Illinois, recipients of spousal maintenance do not continue to receive it once they get remarried. This is because it is presumed that the new spouse can provide financial support instead of the spousal maintenance payments. If you are receiving spousal maintenance from your former spouse, you need to consider the effect of no longer receiving these payments.

On the other hand, if you are the spouse making maintenance payments, you will still be obligated to pay them after getting remarried. You will still need to consider the impact these payments will have, and if you can afford to financially support your former spouse as well as your new family.

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IL divorce lawyerMany people think that alimony is a thing of the past and something that was awarded in divorce cases when one spouse, typically the wife, stayed home to take care of the kids. Alimony is not mentioned in Illinois law, but that does not mean that spousal payments are a thing of the past.

Illinois law refers to alimony as ‘spousal maintenance’ and it is still very much a prevalent part of divorce in the state today. Generally speaking, judges will award spousal maintenance for no longer than three years. If you are about to get a divorce, it is important to know the purpose of spousal maintenance, and whether or not a judge will make you pay it.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal maintenance payments are paid either on a regular basis or as a lump sum. The purpose of spousal maintenance lies in its name. It is intended to support a dependent spouse after divorce and help them maintain their lifestyle until they can support themselves. Generally speaking, the dependent spouse is the person that made less money during a marriage than their spouse.

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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 lawyerPeople going through a divorce have to think about the many different terms they will have to sort through, whether it is during mediation meetings or through litigation. One of the most common terms that comes up during a divorce case is spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is shrouded in many myths and misconceptions, so if you are going through a divorce, it is important to understand the truth behind this common term. To help with this, below are some of the most common questions about spousal maintenance, and the answers to them.

Are Spousal Maintenance and Alimony the Same Thing?

Yes. Although the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act uses the term ‘spousal maintenance’ when talking about payments one spouse will make to the other after divorce, it has the same purpose as alimony.

Does the Lower-Earning Spouse Always Receive Spousal Maintenance?

No. Getting a divorce does not automatically give the lower-earning spouse the right to spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is awarded when a judge deems that it is appropriate for a specific situation and orders one spouse to make payments to the other following the divorce. A judge will consider 13 specific factors when determining whether to award spousal maintenance. These include the age, health, needs, vocational skills, and income, as well as the length of the marriage, and the parent that has custody of the children.

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IL divorce lawyerThe word divorce is often associated with short marriages that were the result of a spontaneous weekend but truthfully, a marriage of any length can end in divorce. When a couple gets divorced after a long marriage, they will likely face issues that may not be present when a couple divorces after only being married for a short time. Below are the three most common issues that come up in divorce cases when a couple has been married for a long time.

Complex Property Division Issues

Property division is a complex issue in any divorce, but the matter becomes particularly complicated when the couple has been married for a long time. Property division relies on dividing marital property between separate property, and this is difficult after a long marriage. Over time, a couple’s separate property is likely to become commingled in joint bank accounts, meaning it may be subject to property division rules, even though it is separate property.

Other property division matters also become more complicated when a couple has been married for a long time. For example, both spouses may have accumulated savings in retirement accounts, and these must also be divided. If the spouses have an estate plan, it is also important to change these, as it is likely that the spouses named each other as beneficiaries.

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