Will My Spouse Be Required to Pay Alimony?
When you are faced with the possibility of a divorce, dozens of questions start to race through your head. You are likely to be wondering how you will tell your children, where you will live, and how you will make life after divorce work for you. For many people, issues of money are often the most pressing. How can a spouse who has relied on his or her partner financially for many years be expected to suddenly support him- or herself when the marriage ends? In Illinois, such a spouse may not have to do so, but nothing regarding alimony is guaranteed in advance.
Alimony is now known under Illinois law as maintenance. It is often referred to as spousal support as well. Whatever you may choose to call it, such awards are intended to alleviate the financial effects of a divorce on a spouse who may be an economic disadvantage. There is more to a maintenance case, however, than just money. Otherwise, any time that one spouse makes more than the other, the lower-earning spouse could expect to receive support following a divorce. Instead, the court will look at a number of factors that take into account the entire marital and divorce situation.
Specifically, the court must consider, among other factors:
- Each spouse’s income, resources, and needs;
- Each spouse’s age, health, and employability;
- The role each spouse played in the marriage and family;
- Contributions made by each spouse to the career and earning potential of the other;
- Sacrifices made by either spouse regarding professional and career development to attend to family responsibilities;
- The length of the marriage; and
- The lifestyle created during the marriage.
No single factor is intended to take precedence over any others, so the court’s decision must be based on the circumstances as a whole.
For example, a stay-at-home wife of 15 years and mother of four who was not college-educated and earned no income compared to her husband’s $200,000 per year salary may be reasonably entitled to maintenance. Conversely, a wife of three years with no children and who worked for the entire marriage may not have such a convincing case, even if she made less than her husband. But, as stated above, there are no guarantees in a maintenance proceeding and other considerations may justify an alimony award.
We Can Help
If you have questions about receiving alimony in your divorce settlement, contact an experienced Kane County divorce attorney. Call 630-232-9700 to schedule a consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today. Let us provide the responsible, affordable representation you deserve.