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How Long Will I Receive Spousal Support After My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 17, 2020 in Spousal Support

DuPage County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

As you contemplate whether to get a divorce, one of your biggest concerns may be your ability to support yourself financially without your spouse’s income, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent or you are out of work for other reasons. In these cases, you may be able to make the case for spousal support as part of your divorce resolution. It is important to understand when spousal support, otherwise known as maintenance or alimony, is awarded and how long it may last so that you can plan accordingly.

When Is Spousal Maintenance Awarded?

If you and your spouse have a legally valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that provides for the amount and duration of spousal maintenance in the event of a divorce, you can likely expect the court to honor that agreement. However, in any other case, decisions regarding spousal support are settled at the time of your divorce. You will either need to negotiate for maintenance with your spouse or demonstrate to the court that you have a need for it. Some reasons the court may consider include:

  • An imbalance in income and assets between you and your spouse that would prevent you from maintaining your accustomed standard of living after the divorce.

  • Significant financial needs that you will struggle to meet on your own, perhaps related to your health.

  • A low current earning capacity, perhaps due to a lack of education or recent work experience.

  • Contributions you made to the marriage, including parenting, domestic duties, and support for your spouse’s career, especially at the expense of your own.

The Duration of Spousal Support Payments

In most cases, spousal support will not continue forever even if it is awarded. The most important factor in determining the duration of maintenance payments is the duration of the marriage itself. Under Illinois law, if you were married for less than five years, spousal support will usually be ordered for less than one year. You can expect a longer duration for each additional year of your marriage, but you should be aware that payments typically end if you get remarried or start living with a new partner, or if you or your former spouse passes away.

With this in mind, it is often a good idea to look at spousal support as a temporary cushion while you find other ways to support yourself. A divorce can sometimes be an opportunity to pursue goals that you have put off, like furthering your education or restarting your career. That said, if there are major obstacles to your ability to support yourself beyond the usual duration of spousal support, the court may make an adjustment to the maintenance order to account for your needs.

Contact a Lombard, IL Spousal Support Attorney

Making the case for spousal support after your Illinois divorce can often be challenging, and if you need assistance, the knowledgeable attorneys at A. Traub & Associates are prepared to help you. We will guide and represent you throughout your divorce negotiations or trial and ensure that your needs are carefully considered. Call our reputable and seasoned DuPage County divorce lawyers today at 630-426-0196 to schedule a private consultation.


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