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Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, is often a point of contention amongst spouses who are going through a divorce. The paying spouse may feel like they are being asked to give more than they can afford or more than what their husband or wife deserves or needs, and the receiving spouse probably feels the opposite. As the lower-earning spouse, they might have given up their own goals to support the career of their spouse or to be a homemaker or primary caregiver for their children. Now that divorce is imminent, they have financial needs that they cannot meet on their own. Contrary to popular belief, permanent alimony is rarely awarded. Alimony is usually temporary and comes in the form as bridge the gap alimony, which helps keep the lower-earning spouse afloat during divorce, or rehabilitative alimony.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded at a set amount for a period of time long enough for the lower-earning spouse to complete a bachelor’s or advanced degree or finish up specific job training. It can be used for tuition, books, non-college educational or training classes, vocational training, and other expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, and other expenses that the spouse would normally have during this period of ”rehabilitation.”
One of the general goals of alimony is to provide the lower-earning spouse the ability to support the lifestyle they grew accustomed to during the course of the marriage. There are a variety of reasons that the lower-earning spouse might struggle to support themselves in the months or years after the marriage is dissolved. These include the following:
Education is one of the greatest tools that a worker has at their disposal for getting a satisfying, high paying job with good benefits. Typically, those with a college degree earn quite a bit more than those without. The following is true for workers 25 and older:
With the average student loan debt coming in at over $37,000 it does not make sense for a lower-earning spouse to take on student loans that would take a decade to pay off when the higher-earning spouse could pay tuition, fees, and living expenses.
If you are going through a divorce, you need an attorney who will strongly advocate for your best interests, and this includes rehabilitative alimony. Call the dedicated DuPage County alimony attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.