Judges may order a spouse to pay financial support to their other spouse after their marriage is over. Identified as maintenance in an Illinois divorce, these payments were also often known as alimony or spousal support.
Spouses who can work are expected to find employment and support themselves. Maintenance is ordered when financial support is needed to help the recipient spouse fulfill this requirement.
A spouse’s behavior during marriage and any fault for the divorce are not considerations. Maintenance requirements are the same for both genders. Child support is determined separately and in accordance with different requirements.
Maintenance payments are not required in every divorce. In exercising their discretion on awarding this support, judges will consider income and assets, needs, present and future earning potential, time spent engaged in household work, marriage lifestyle, age, health, spousal agreements and the time and cost for training and education needed for getting a job.
There are limits on how much maintenance support may be ordered. The length of the marriage also determines how long maintenance payments will last. A specific numerical multiplier is used for each time period that the marriage lasted to calculate the duration of these payments.
A spouse may also need maintenance during the time that a divorce case goes on. Judges can order temporary maintenance for this period. This may include temporary parental custody that include the power to make decisions and parenting time, temporary child support, temporary possession of the family home and temporary restraining orders.
An attorney can help spouses consider their options while determining maintenance and child support. They can also assist a spouse is seeking a fair and reasonable settlement or decree that meets their financial needs.