Divorce Alimony in Illinois

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Spousal support or maintenance is an amount that is paid by a spouse who is economically better off than the other after divorce. It is a kind of monitory help that is approved by law to help the suffered spouse to achieve a specific standard of living. Alimony cases are carried out on the basis of the rules mentioned in the family laws. Most of the times, they are a part of actual litigation of marital dissolution. Divorce alimony in Illinois will be granted according to the state guidelines and regulations.

Issues speculated upon during determination of Divorce Alimony in Illinois

As per the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the judge takes into account the following issues before determining the terms of spousal support -

  • Presence of any valid agreement between the spouses. There may exist a nuptial agreement that includes the details of amount.
  • Whether the spouse has made any inputs to the education, training, career or license of the other party.
  • How has the tax effects of the property distribution impacted the financial scenario of both spouses?
  • The emotional and physical condition and age of both parties.
  • The duration of marital life. There is possibility that permanent maintenance is granted only in long-term marriages.
  • The lifestyle and status achieved in the marital life by both spouses.
  • If the custodian of child is seeking spousal support, the court considers that it is an absolute right of that person. Due to parental responsibilities, he or she may be unable to find out an employment.
  • The duration essential for the spouse seeking maintenance to become satisfactorily employed.
  • Has the party seeking alimony devoted time to domestic responsibilities due to which this party has delayed or missed opportunities in education, training, employment and career? Has this fact resulted in impairment in the present and future earning potential of this party?
  • The present and future earning ability of each spouse.
  • The requirements of each spouse.
  • The property and income of both partners, inclusive of the non marital and martial property reserved for both.
  • Any other issue that the court feels relevant and essential to be considered.
The state of Illinois does not consider the nature of marital fault, if the divorce is taken on that basis. Also, it does not favor any party according to the gender differences.

Review of Divorce Alimony in Illinois

Some occurrences that may influence the court order are as follows -

  • The child has entered school or has become an independent adult. Especially, the partners receiving maintenance as a custodian are considered in this case.
  • The predetermined period of time has passed by. When a temporary assistance or transitional support is granted, then this condition may apply.
  • A considerable increment or decrement in the income of the payer due to some unavoidable circumstances.
  • A significant increment in the salary of the payee.
  • Whether the payee has completed a certain level of education?
Under the conditions that are mentioned above, the implementation of the court orders can be altered or stopped completely. The automatic or lawful termination of the spousal maintenance takes place in following cases -
  • The payer has retired from service.
  • The payee has begun conjugal or resident cohabitation with another person.
  • The payee has remarried.
  • The payer or payee has died.
In the case of remarriage, if the ex-spouse opts for divorce from a second marriage, the spousal support order from a previous marriage will be re-enforced.

Types of Alimony

Rehabilitative assistance

  • The aim is that the recipient must be assisted till he/she is employed in such a manner that provides an almost similar standard of living that was in existence during marital life.
  • The payments are made for a specific period of time (generally 6 months to 5 years) or for an indefinite duration.
  • Also termed as "re-viewable maintenance" or "periodic maintenance".

Maintenance in Gross

  • This is a lump sum payment.
  • It is executed as one huge payment or in a specific number of installments.
  • This amount cannot be modified.

Permanent Maintenance

  • The Trial court may state that the support may be disbursed permanently and may define some termination events that are different from those stated by the laws.
  • This type is considered apt when the recipient is not employed or may become employed with such a low income that would not be sufficient to maintain the standard of living experienced in marital life.
  • Generally, the recipients in this case, are in their 40s or 50s and have health-related problems.

The court will finalize the type of spousal support, after pondering over all related aspects. Those spouses, who are not acquainted with the family laws, are advised to approach for a legal help to go through a spousal support case.

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