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Protecting Your Rights In Family Matters

Understanding maintenance support in an Illinois divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2024 | Divorce

Maintenance, commonly known as alimony or spousal support, sometimes plays a role in divorce proceedings in Illinois. It provides financial assistance to a spouse who may face economic challenges post-divorce.

Maintenance assists the lower-earning spouse in maintaining a similar standard of living after divorce.

Maintenance orders

A maintenance order in Illinois lists essential details, including the amount, frequency and duration of payments. The order may address spousal support modifications, stipulating conditions for adjustments. Specifying the conditions for termination and potential repercussions for non-compliance provides a clear framework.

Maintenance considerations

In Illinois, courts consider the length of the marriage when determining the amounts and terms of spousal support. Longer marriages may lead to different outcomes than shorter ones because longer marriages usually have more economic interdependence.

This approach ensures that maintenance arrangements align with the specific circumstances and needs of each couple.

Determining amounts and terms

Illinois courts consider various factors when determining the amounts and terms of maintenance. These include the recipient’s financial needs, the paying spouse’s ability to contribute and any sacrifices made by one spouse for the other’s career or education. Courts strive to develop a fair and reasonable arrangement based on these considerations.

Maintenance duration

Maintenance can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. Courts might give short-term help to the spouse who needs it during the divorce. In cases where financial differences are likely to last after the divorce, they could award permanent maintenance so the lower-income spouse can continue with a relatively similar standard of living.


After a maintenance order is in place, either spouse may request modifications under specific circumstances. A significant change in financial circumstances, such as job loss or a substantial increase in income, may warrant a modification.

If the recipient spouse remarries or lives with a new partner, it could also be grounds for a change. Courts assess the reasons for modification requests to ensure continued fairness in the support arrangement.

Your maintenance is unique

You cannot compare your maintenance order to anyone else’s. Each order considers your unique circumstances.

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