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Who Can Receive Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?

 Posted on November 12, 2021 in Divorce / Family Law

Geneva spousal support lawyerSometimes known as “alimony,” the issue of spousal maintenance can lead to conflict during a divorce. If you gave up a career or educational opportunities in order to devote yourself to the marriage by raising children or running the household, you may be eligible to request and receive spousal maintenance during a divorce. Divorce law can be complicated, and every divorce comes with stress, and it may be in your best interest to have a family law attorney representing you in your Illinois divorce.

Who Qualifies for Spousal Support? 

The court’s goal in awarding spousal maintenance is to make sure both parties will be able to maintain their standard of living and to avoid a situation where one spouse is suddenly unable to meet their needs. Either spouse can ask the court for spousal maintenance, regardless of gender. In situations where both spouses worked for pay during the marriage and would be able to support themselves alone, the court is unlikely to order spousal maintenance - even if one spouse outearns the other. However, the court may consider each spouse’s respective financial needs when dividing other property.

What Does the Court Consider When Deciding on About Maintenance? 

There are a number of factors the court will take into consideration when deciding whether spousal maintenance is appropriate during divorce proceedings. In general, the court will consider each spouse’s needs, earning ability, and contributions to the marriage. Some of these factors include: 

  • Earning capacity - The court will try to assess the present and future earning capacity of each spouse. That number may be zero if one party is disabled by a physical or mental health condition. If one spouse left the workforce as a result of the marriage, the court will consider the impact this absence may have on a party’s future earning potential.
  • Length of marriage - Spouses who were married for many years may rely on the other spouse’s earnings to a greater degree than spouses who were only married a short time. 
  • Contribution to spouse’s earning capacity - Often, one spouse takes on the financial burden of supporting the other while she pursues higher education or job training. The court will consider one spouse’s contribution to the other’s attaining a degree. 
  • Division of property - Before awarding spousal maintenance, the court will review how other valuable property is being divided. For example, if one spouse continues living in the marital home while the other has to start paying rent, this may affect a spousal maintenance order. 

Requests for spousal maintenance depend heavily on the specific economic circumstances of the spouses, both during the marriage and going forward.

Call a Kane County Divorce Lawyer 

If you are considering requesting spousal maintenance during your divorce, you should consult a Geneva family law attorney first. Attorney Reese Krajniak of Loire Krajniak Law, LLC, has more than ten years of experience representing clients in divorce and family law cases. Call 630-448-2406 for a free consultation.



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