If you are planning to get a divorce, either you or your spouse may be concerned about your ability to meet your ongoing needs. While most divorcing spouses need to make some financial cutbacks, since they will be going from a combined income to a single income, there are some cases in which one party might be at a significant financial disadvantage. If a parent is a homemaker who has been out of the workforce for multiple years or if one spouse had a much higher income than the other, spousal support may be necessary to ensure that both spouses can provide for themselves.
At SBK Law Group, our attorneys have been representing clients for decades and we can work with you to make sure you have the financial resources that will allow you to succeed once your marriage has been legally dissolved. Whether you need to receive support from your ex or you are being asked to pay support to your former spouse, we can ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account and help you achieve an outcome that protects your rights and your financial stability.
Many people are familiar with the concept of alimony, but they may not know when it is appropriate or how the amount of payments will be determined. Under Illinois law, this type of support is known as spousal maintenance, and it is meant to allow a former spouse to maintain the lifestyle they were used to during their marriage. It is not intended to be a punishment for either spouse’s actions; in fact, the law states that “marital misconduct” is not a factor that should be considered when deciding whether maintenance will be awarded.
The factors that a judge will consider when deciding whether spousal support is appropriate are based on each spouse’s financial circumstances, their ability to support themselves and their role during the marriage. Some issues that may affect this decision include whether a spouse made sacrifices to their career in favor of family responsibilities, as well as whether one spouse helped the other further their career or receive education or training that would allow them to increase their income.
If a judge awards maintenance to be paid by the higher-earning spouse to the other, a statutory formula will be used to calculate how much the payments will be. The calculation subtracts one-fourth of the recipient’s income from one-third of the payer’s income and allocates 1/12 of the total in monthly support payments.
The number of spousal support payments will depend on the amount of time the spouses were married. Different percentages are used to calculate spousal support for marriages that lasted different lengths of time. For example, in a marriage of 10 years, maintenance will last for 44% of the length of the marriage or about four years and five months. If a couple was married for 20 years or more, maintenance may be paid for the same amount of time as the marriage, or it may last indefinitely.
Spousal support may be an essential component of a person’s ability to provide for themselves following divorce, but the need for this support should be weighed alongside all of the other factors that will be considered during divorce proceedings, including the division of marital property and child support obligations.
At SBK Law Group, we can make sure you understand all of the legal issues involved in ending your marriage, and we will ensure that your rights are protected while helping you reach a positive resolution to your case.
To schedule a consultation with our attorneys, contact us online or at 630-427-4407. We serve clients in Downers Grove and Naperville and throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, and Cook County.