How Does the Court Determine Whether or Not I Am Eligible for Alimony?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Geneva family law attorneyDivorcing couples usually have a number of questions and concerns about spousal maintenance (alimony) when they begin to address financial arrangements at the end of the marriage. One of the most pressing questions for most spouses is whether or not they are eligible for alimony at all, and if so, how that decision is reached.

Circumstantial Factors

It is understandable to want to know how much you must pay your spouse or how much you are eligible to receive, but the answers to these questions are not cut and dry. The court handles spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis, taking a number of factors into consideration to first determine whether or not alimony is appropriate. Illinois law examines all of the following factors before deciding to grant an alimony award to either spouse:

  • The present needs of each party;
  • Each spouse’s current earning capacity;
  • Any impairments related to earning capacity, such as inability to secure employment or lack of training or education for a particular line of work;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The standard of living of each party throughout the marriage;
  • The physical and emotional condition of each party; and
  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant, just, or equitable to the case.

Once all of these factors have been addressed, the court will then determine what kind of maintenance award will be granted. The decision is made without any regard to marital misconduct, and the award can be either a temporary amount or a fixed amount, usually distributed over a specific period of time. The law provides income-based calculation guidelines to be used in most situations, but the court may deviate from them if necessary and justified. The spouse responsible for paying the maintenance is typically ordered to pay the amount due from their income or property, whichever arrangement the court deems just and acceptable.

Help for Your Case 

For some couples, the subject of spousal support will never even be discussed. Some individuals are able to provide for themselves on their own, without much help from their spouse, and some individuals prefer to bypass the entire issue altogether. For some, though, alimony can make a significant difference in the quality of life following a divorce. If you would like to find out if you are eligible for spousal support, speak with an experienced, knowledgeable Geneva family law attorney. Call 630-232-9700 today to schedule a consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates.


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