location22 Crissey Ave, Suite 100, Geneva, IL 60134

Free consultations


Can You Get Alimony in Illinois?

 Posted on April 19, 2023 in Divorce / Family Law

Geneva Spousal Maintenance LawyerMany divorcing spouses have questions about alimony, or as it is called in Illinois, spousal maintenance. When is a spouse entitled to maintenance payments? Does the lower-earning spouse automatically get alimony in Illinois? How much are alimony payments and how long do they last?

In this blog, we will explore Illinois laws regarding spousal maintenance, when maintenance is awarded, and what you can do if you have further questions about spousal maintenance during your divorce.

Negotiated Agreements or Court Awards

There are two main ways that a spouse can receive alimony in an Illinois divorce. First, the spouses may be able to negotiate the terms of maintenance. For example, a spouse may agree to pay the lower-earning spouse a certain amount of money each month for the first year after the divorce. It is also possible that a divorcing couple has already made arrangements for spousal maintenance in a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement.

The second way that a spouse can receive maintenance is by petitioning the court for a spousal maintenance order. When the court receives a maintenance request, the court will evaluate factors such as both spouses’ employment, earning capacity, assets, and income to make a decision. Illinois courts recognize that contributions to the marriage are not always financial, so contributions made as a stay-at-home parent or homemaker will also be taken into consideration. Usually, spousal maintenance awards are reserved for cases involving a significant discrepancy in income or long-term marriages.

How Much Money Does a Spouse Pay and For How Long?

If spousal maintenance is ordered by the court, the court typically follows a specific formula to determine how much the spouse pays. The formula is based on both spouses’ net incomes. Maintenance is almost always temporary. The financial support gives the recipient time to secure employment and become financially independent from the other spouse. However, if the marriage lasted 20 years or longer, it is possible that a spouse can be awarded permanent spousal maintenance.

In most cases, the duration of the marriage determines the duration of a spousal maintenance order. The longer a couple was married, the longer a spouse is required to pay maintenance. However, there are many different factors that influence spousal maintenance awards. According to Illinois law, a spousal maintenance order terminates if the recipient gets remarried. The paying spouse can also ask the court to terminate his or her maintenance obligation if the recipient moves in with a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Lastly, maintenance terminates if either spouse passes away.

Contact our Kane County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

If you are getting divorced and you have concerns or questions about spousal maintenance, contact our Geneva divorce attorney for help. Attorney Cherissa "Reese" Loire Krajniak has extensive experience in divorce and family law issues. She can answer all of your questions and provide support throughout your divorce. Call 630-448-2406 for a free initial consultation.



Share this post:
Back to Top