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Rolling Meadows Spousal Support Attorney

Rolling Meadows Alimony Lawyer Serving Cook County and Illinois Clients

Spousal support, which is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, is a critical issue that may need to be addressed during an Illinois divorce. It will generally consist of regular payments made by one spouse to the other, and its primary purpose is to mitigate the economic impact of a divorce on a spouse who may be at a financial disadvantage. While spousal support will not be an issue that will play a role in every divorce, it can be essential in certain situations, since it can help ensure that a spouse will have the financial resources necessary to cover their ongoing expenses and maintain their standard of living.

At Ann O’Connell Law, Ltd., we always make sure our clients are fully informed of their rights, their legal options, and the ways they will be affected by the law during the divorce process. For those who may need support from their former spouses or those who are being asked to pay support, we can make sure they understand the way this issue will be handled during their case. We advocate for fair outcomes that will allow our clients to maintain financial security as they establish a new life for themselves after completing the divorce process.

What Is Spousal Maintenance?

Illinois law refers to spousal support as spousal maintenance, and based on factors defined in the state's laws, one spouse may be eligible to receive ongoing financial assistance both during the divorce process and after a divorce has been finalized. This support can help a spouse make sure that they will be able to maintain a standard of living that is reasonably comparable to the standard they lived at during their marriage. For a spouse who relied on their partner to cover most of the family's expenses or who would be at a significant financial disadvantage, spousal maintenance can provide a lifeline, ensuring that they can cover their expenses and live comfortably while taking steps to increase their income so they can fully support themselves in the future.

Determining Eligibility for Spousal Support

Typically, spousal maintenance may be appropriate if one spouse earns an income well below the amount earned by the other spouse. A spouse who was a homemaker or who only worked part-time in order to focus on family and household responsibilities may be eligible to receive spousal support so that they can continue functioning in this role. Several factors may be considered when determining whether a spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance, including:

  • Income and property: The financial resources available to each spouse will be evaluated. This will include the income they currently earn, the assets they will receive following the division of marital property, and any separate assets they own. The court may consider whether it may be preferable to award a spouse with a larger share of marital property rather than receiving ongoing spousal support payments.
  • The needs of each party: The financial needs of each spouse will be considered, including their ongoing expenses and any other costs required to maintain their accustomed standard of living.
  • Earning capacity: In addition to the income each spouse currently earns, the amount they should be able to earn based on their levels of education and experience may also be considered. Factors like age, health, and vocational skills may play a role in these determinations.
  • Impact of the marriage on earning capacity: Homemaking duties or other issues that may limit the income a spouse can currently earn may be considered.
  • Contributions during the marriage: If the spouse who believes they should receive spousal support helped their former partner build their career or increase their income, this may be a factor to consider. For example, a person who supported their spouse financially while they attended college or took care of household responsibilities so they could devote more time to their career may be able to receive spousal support as a reward for these contributions.
  • Duration of marriage: Generally, spousal maintenance will be more likely to be awarded in cases where couples were married for longer periods of time.

Calculation of Spousal Support

Once eligibility is established, formulas defined in Illinois law will typically be used to determine how much will be paid and how long payments will last. The formula used to calculate the amount of spousal maintenance will factor in each spouse's income at the time of the divorce. The duration of spousal support will be determined using a percentage of the length of the couple's marriage. Most of the time, maintenance will be paid for a fixed term, but in some situations, it may be paid indefinitely, such as when a couple was married for over 20 years or when the recipient has permanent disabilities that affect their ability to work and earn an income. Spousal support may also be reviewable, and after a certain period of time, a judge may consider whether ongoing support is still needed or whether it should be modified or terminated.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Due to the complex factors that can affect decisions about spousal support, it is important to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can address these issues correctly while protecting their client's financial interests. At Ann O’Connell Law, Ltd., we can help ensure that Illinois law will be applied correctly when making decisions about spousal maintenance. To get effective legal representation during your divorce, contact our firm at 847-859-6222 and schedule a complimentary consultation today.

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