dupage county divorce lawyerWhile spousal maintenance (which is more commonly known as alimony, but may also be referred to as spousal support) is not a factor in every divorce, it may be an important issue to address in cases where one spouse earns a significantly higher income or where one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent. Spousal maintenance will only be paid if a couple agrees on this form of support in their divorce settlement or if one party demonstrates to a judge that it is necessary based on the factors outlined in Illinois law. Understanding the options for paying spousal maintenance, including making a lump sum payment or monthly support payments, can help spouses determine the best ways they can each succeed financially once their divorce has been finalized.

Options for Paying Spousal Maintenance

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to provide a person who earns a lower income with financial support that will allow them to maintain the same standard of living the couple had during their marriage. The amount that will be paid will be determined using a formula that is defined in Illinois law.

In most cases, if maintenance is appropriate, it will be paid monthly for a specific number of months. This number of months is determined based on the total amount of time that a couple was married, starting on the day of their wedding and ending on the date their divorce decree is issued. If temporary maintenance is awarded to one spouse and paid in the period between when the divorce petition was filed and when the divorce was finalized, these payments may be credited toward the total duration for which spousal maintenance will be paid.

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dupage county spousal support lawyerWhen a couple decides to end their marriage and get a divorce, this can sometimes put one spouse in a difficult position as they determine how they will be able to support themselves on their own. In these situations, a spouse may ask to receive spousal support from their former partner. These payments, which are referred to as spousal maintenance in Illinois law, may be available in situations where one spouse earns a higher income or where a stay-at-home parent or a person who has extraordinary needs requires financial support to be able to meet their ongoing needs. By understanding the types of spousal maintenance that may be available, spouses can make sure this issue will be addressed correctly during the divorce process.

Three Types of Spousal Maintenance

In a case where a divorcing spouse is requesting spousal maintenance, a couple may agree that this type of support will be paid, or both parties may present their case to a judge, who will decide whether spousal support will be appropriate. The judge will look at each party’s financial situation to determine whether one spouse needs support and whether the other spouse will have the means to make ongoing payments. They may also consider other factors, such as whether the person who is asking for support made sacrifices to their career during their marriage or helped their spouse pursue career opportunities and increase their level of income.

If a judge determines that spousal maintenance should be awarded, they may choose one of the following options:

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illinois muslim divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, a spouse may request that their former partner pay them financial support. This form of support is referred to as spousal maintenance in Illinois, but it is also known as spousal support or alimony. Eligibility for spousal support can be a complex issue in any divorce case, but during an Islamic divorce, couples will need to determine how Shariah law applies in these situations.

Spousal Maintenance Under Illinois Law

In an Illinois divorce, a spouse may request that the court award spousal support, usually because they have relied on their partner during their marriage and do not have the financial resources to fully provide for their own needs. When determining whether maintenance will be appropriate, a judge will consider multiple factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s financial circumstances, including their income-earning capacity, their ongoing needs, their age and health, and their financial obligations, including the obligation to provide child support for their children or other forms of support for a spouse from a previous marriage or children from a previous relationship

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Can I Modify Spousal Maintenance?

Posted on in Spousal Support

IL divorce lawyerThere are many different reasons that an ex-spouse could seek a modification of spousal maintenance (also described as alimony or spousal support). In a divorce case in DuPage County, the court might award spousal support to one of the parties based on certain factors from the marriage, and that spouse’s ability to earn a living without obtaining additional education or training. In short, an Illinois court may determine that spousal maintenance is appropriate, and then it will award a specific amount of alimony. In most cases, the amount and the duration of alimony is based on a formula, so it is streamlined. Yet that formula considers both spouses’ incomes when determining the amount of the award.

Accordingly, if one of the spouse’s incomes changes significantly, it could be a reason to ask the court to modify the support payments. We want to provide you with more information generally, but if you have specific questions about your particular circumstances, you should seek advice from an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer.

Calculating Spousal Support in Illinois

Illinois law now says that, for most couples getting divorced where alimony is appropriate, courts should use a formula for calculating the amount of spousal support. That formula says the court should take 33.3 percent of the paying spouse’s net income and subtract 25 percent of the receiving spouse’s net income. The remaining amount is the spousal support amount. For most couples that collectively earn less than $500,000, the court will apply this formula.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you are preparing for a divorce in DuPage County and are anticipating that you will either be paying alimony (also known as spousal maintenance) or receiving it, it is important to understand how these types of payments work under Illinois law. Generally speaking, in order for one spouse to be eligible to receive support, that spouse has to request support. Then, the next step involves the court looking at a number of different factors to determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate in the given case. The court must make this determination before it ever considers how maintenance will be paid, for long the payments will last, and how much will get paid. If the court decides spousal maintenance is not appropriate, it never even considers how and when alimony will be paid.

If a court does decide alimony is appropriate, then the court’s next steps are to determine the amount and duration of the alimony award. For most DuPage County residents, the court will use guidelines with formulas to make those determinations. Only once the court has decided the amount and duration of the alimony award will it reach the issue of how it actually gets paid and with what frequency. The frequency of alimony payments can be an important one, both for the spouse making the payments and the spouse receiving the payments. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers want to provide you with more information about lump sum payments.

What Is a Lump Sum Payment for Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?

Spousal support awards typically are paid monthly over a particular duration. For example, if a court determines that Spouse A should pay Spouse B an amount of $2,000 per month for 48 months, then that amount usually would get paid monthly, for a total of $96,000 once the total alimony award is paid out in full.

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