Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, is an important consideration for both spouses when going through a divorce. However, the idea of spousal support can sometimes catch individuals off-guard. A Will County spousal support lawyer could help you understand more about what spousal support is, how it may factor into your divorce, and how you can plan for the effects spousal support obligations could have on you.
There are several different types of spousal support in Illinois that a family lawyer can assist with. Your divorce may involve one or more of them, and understanding the nuances of each type is critical to having a clearer understanding of the big picture of divorce.
The first thing to remember about spousal support is that it is discretionary. That means a judge has the authority to determine whether spousal support is appropriate based on the circumstances of a marriage. If a judge determines that spousal support is indeed appropriate, they will then determine exactly what kind of spousal support is best suited to the needs of the family in question-based on criteria established in 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/504.
Temporary spousal support is awarded by the court while divorce proceedings are underway. It is usually requested at the onset of the proceedings, and orders awarding it typically last for the duration of the divorce.
Rehabilitative spousal support is generally awarded for a short period of time after a divorce has been finalized. Its purpose is to enable the receiving spouse to go back to school or acquire the skills necessary to become self-sustaining.
Reviewable spousal support serves much of the same purpose as rehabilitative spousal support, in that it is geared toward ensuring the receiving spouse can become self-sustaining. For their part, the receiving spouse must make good faith efforts to reach this goal.
Permanent alimony is awarded without an end date. This type of spousal support is usually only available in situations where a marriage has lasted for 20 years or more.
In Illinois, recent legislation dictates new guidelines for spousal support. A court may follow these guidelines or order a different arrangement depending on the circumstances of the divorce itself, including the combined income of both spouses. Under the guidelines, spousal support is determined by taking 30 percent of income from the spouse paying spousal support and subtracting from that 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s income.
This final total cannot exceed 40 percent of the combined income of both spouses, or it will be lowered until it qualifies. The duration of support is based on the length of the marriage itself. A Will County spousal support lawyer could help you understand more about how spousal support is calculated in Illinois and what that might mean for you.
Spousal support can be a crucial part of a divorce settlement. It is likely to have a big impact on both spouses, financially and in other ways. While not every divorce involves spousal support, it may be important to understand the laws governing it in Illinois so that you can work with your spousal support attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
When it comes to financial stability and the ability to gainfully participate in the workforce, your best move is often to work with advocates who understand the dynamic role spousal support can play. If you have questions or concerns about spousal support and your divorce, call today and let a Will County spousal support lawyer put their experience to work for you.