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Spousal Maintenance

The term “ alimony ” is no longer used in the Illinois court system. Rather, the term “ spousal maintenance ” is used to describe support payments from one person to that person’s former spouse during and/or after a divorce or legal separation.

Illinois spousal maintenance can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary spousal maintenance is support during a limited time period or for a particular purpose (e.g., the obtainment of education or training, etc.). Permanent spousal maintenance is support for the lifetime of the recipient or until a significant event happens (e.g., re-marriage, recovery from a disability, etc.). Permanent spousal maintenance is rarely awarded by Illinois divorce courts.

Illinois divorce law statutes address the issue of spousal maintenance. Illinois divorce statute 750 ILCS 5/504 lists 14 factors that Illinois divorce court judges must consider before awarding or denying Illinois spousal maintenance. Those 14 factors are

  1. income and property of each party;
  2. needs of each party;
  3. present and future earning capacity of each party;
  4. any impairment to earning capacity on the part of the party seeking maintenance;
  5. any impairment to earning capacity on the part of the party from who maintenance is sought;
  6. time needed to get appropriate training and education for employment;
  7. standard of living during the marriage;
  8. duration of the marriage;
  9. age and physical and emotional health of each party;
  10. sources of publi and private income;
  11. tax consequences;
  12. contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the other’s professional license, education, or training during the marriage;
  13. any valid agreement between the parties; and
  14. any other fact that the court finds to be just and equitable.

Illinois divorce courts look at spousal maintenance as a tool for “rehabilitation” of one of the parties to an Illinois divorce. For example, an Illinois divorce court judge might award temporary maintenance to one of the parties to allow that party to obtain sufficient education and/or training that will lead to economic self-sufficiency.

It is possible that an Illinois divorce court judge may later modify an earlier order for spousal maintenance. Illinois divorce statute 750 ILCS 5/510 requires Illinois divorce court judges to consider the following factors to determine whether Illinois spousal maintenance should be modified ...............

  1. changes in employment (e.g., spouse cannot quit his/her job to avoid payments);
  2. efforts on the part of the spouse receiving maintenance to become economically self-sufficient;
  3. impairment of earning capcity on the part of either party;
  4. the tax consequences of spousal maintenance;
  5. how long spousal maintenance has been paid compared to how long the marriage was;
  6. the property awarded to each of the parties in the divorce;
  7. the changes in both spouses’ incomes since the divorce;
  8. the property acquired since the divorce; and
  9. any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.

One reason why Atty. Patrick Sylvester is a skillful Chicago, Illinois divorce lawyer is that he is very knowledgeable about money, the time value of money, investments, pensions, retirement accounts, taxes and estate law. The north suburban Chicago divorce attorney of Sylvester Law Firm uses that important knowledge to skillfully protect his Chicago divorce clients’ financial interests.

You are invited to call us at (847) 251 – 2999 to get answers to your important questions related to Illinois alimony (spousal maintenance).

Sylvester Law Firm, PC - Chicago Attorney
1000 Skokie Blvd., Suite 320
Wilmette, IL 60091. View Map
Call Us Today 847.251.2999
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.