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Spousal Support Simplified

 Posted on December 05, 2017 in Spousal Support

Lombard family law attorneyWhen a married couple divorces, the court may award spousal support to one of the spouses. Spousal support is sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance. It refers to payments that one spouse makes to the other in order to help them financially post-divorce. Spousal support can be based on a court decision, a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement. Maintenance is not always awarded in Illinois. In some cases, both spouses are self-supporting so there is no need for financial assistance. Even if there is a substantial difference in income between the two spouses, courts may account for this difference by awarding more of the marital property to the lower-earning spouse.

Who Gets Spousal Support?

Illinois courts have wide discretion in determining if spousal support will be awarded or not, how much payments will be, and for how long payments will occur. The court must consider the following factors in making decisions about spousal support:

  • Both individuals' age, physical condition, and emotional state;
  • The couple's standard of living during the marriage;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The spouses’ assets and income;
  • The ability of the paying spouse to pay support payments;
  • Any impairment to the earning capacity of the spouse requesting support due to time spent raising children or maintaining the shared home;
  • Contributions that a spouse made to the other spouse’s education or career;
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse; and
  • The length of time the recipient of spousal support would need to become self-sufficient. 

Will the New Tax Bill Affect Alimony?

The U.S House and Senate have each passed a version of a new tax plan which now must be reconciled before being sent for the President’s signature. The House Republicans' tax reform measure would eliminate the tax deduction for spousal support payments. This could dramatically affect those who pay spousal support. If the GOP tax bill passes as currently written, the change would only affect divorces finalized after December 31, 2017. The Senate Republican plan would leave the current alimony tax law as it currently is. Many financial experts believe that if the House bill ultimately becomes law, it could have a serious impact on the financial status of individuals after they have divorced.

Call Us for Help

If you are considering divorce and have questions about spousal support, an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your available options. Contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney at A. Traub & Associates. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at any of our three convenient locations today.



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