Alimony Lawyer in Illinois

630-891-2478

If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, the financial aspect of it may weigh heavily on your mind. No matter your income level, your financial situation can take a hit when you divorce. Spouses who didn't work or worked less while married are in a harder position because they are financially dependent on the other spouse. Rather than allow the spouse to succumb to a lower standard of living or become a public charge, spousal support might be established. 

That said, spousal support is not as common today because both spouses tend to work and make their own income. It is, however, an important component of any divorce where the financial disparity requires it. If you have questions about spousal support, whether you are the one who wants alimony or the one who must provide it, contact The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Law). Our divorce lawyer in DuPage County will provide honest answers and advocate for your rights.

Alimony in DuPage County

Spousal support, spousal maintenance, and alimony are all terms used to describe a situation where one spouse pays another spouse a court-ordered payment for a certain amount of time during or after a divorce. In DuPage County, these payments are referred to as maintenance.

Spouses can agree on maintenance, but the end result must be fair. If you fail to agree, the spouse seeking support must file a formal notice with the court to request alimony.

Alimony can be temporary or permanent, the former of which is the norm. It can also be a lump-sum versus periodic monthly payments, the latter of which is the norm. Further, maintenance is not always in the form of money but can include a property transfer. Both lump-sum payments and property transfers are non-modifiable once the order is issued. That means if circumstances change, the alimony will not change. However, when it is in the form of periodic payments, maintenance is modifiable.

Factors Determining the Amount of Maintenance

If maintenance is appropriate, the Illinois statutory calculations for maintenance depend on the respective incomes, the duration of the marriage, and the date of filing of a Petition with the court. Most cases follow the statutory guideline calculations.

If you and your spouse earn significant money and your combined incomes are in excess of $500,000, you will not use the statutory guideline calculations and you will determine maintenance after the conidiation of certain factors. The circumstances of the spouses going through a divorce will determine both the amount and the duration of alimony payments. Some of the most important factors that might influence alimony include but are not limited to:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Age of the spouses
  • Mental or physical condition of each spouse
  • The income disparity between the spouses
  • The likelihood that the financially-dependent spouse can secure a well-paying job
  • Professional skills or educational accomplishments of the dependent spouse
  • The couple's standard of living during the marriage
  • Individual assets of each spouse
  • How long it would take for the dependent spouse to become self-sufficient
  • Any children and if child support will be needed

As mentioned above, you and your spouse can determine the amount by an agreement without interference of the court, keeping in mind it must be fair.

Termination of Maintenance in DuPage County

An end date can also be determined by agreement between the spouses, but if not, the court will determine it. Other times or in lieu of an end date, spousal support may terminate if one of the following occurs:

  1. The supported spouse remarries or cohabitates; or
  2. Either spouse dies.

A significant event may occur, too, which prompts an end to maintenance. In that case, it's determined on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of the reason to terminate maintenance, evidence may need to be provided to support the reason for termination.

Defenses to Avoid Maintenance

Alimony can be a highly contested aspect of any divorce. The spouse who may be ordered to pay alimony may want to challenge it. Reasons to deny a spousal support claim include but are not limited to:

  • Adultery
  • Cohabiting with a significant other
  • Inability to Pay

In the end, if maintenance is contested, the final say on the matter will be the judge. It's important to try at all costs to come to an agreement because the expense of hearings or a trial can take its toll on a divorcing couple.

Maintenance Enforcement in Illinois

Once a maintenance order is signed by a judge, it is enforceable. Some times, payment is set up through the employer and automatically sent to the supported spouse. Most times, the paying spouse pays the supported spouse directly. The arrangement of spousal support payments will be included in the order. 

If the paying spouse fails to pay, they can be held in contempt of court and could face fines and penalties. The supported spouse can file a show-cause action with the court and a hearing will be set. 

Contact a maintenance Lawyer in DuPage County Today

If you are seeking a divorce, you should always get the advice and guidance of a divorce lawyer. At The Law Firm of Erin N Birt PC (Birt Law), our family law lawyer will provide the support and representation you need, including your efforts to obtain, argue against, or modify alimony. Contact us online or directly at (630) 891-2478 to schedule a consultation & planning session.

Recent Case Results

  • Our client knew his wife was having an affair. She flaunted it. Soon after he left the marital residence, his fears came true, his wife had moved her boyfriend into his house with his kids. Our firm hired a private investigator to watch the house, monitor who was present at the house, and to ensure the safety of the children. Our attorney strived to resolve the case by settlement, but knew, if needed, she was absolutely prepared to present a well organized case to a judge that included putting the wife on the stand about her infidelities. Read On

  • Our client had limited income after devoting most of her adult life to raising children. She retained our firm on a limited scope basis to help her draft divorce paperwork. She would not have otherwise had access to justice for her children as she did not qualify for legal aid and did not have sufficient funds for an attorney to represent her on all issues. Read On

  • Our mediation clients were parents to a young child and the father had extended family in another country. By keeping the case out of court, we were able to focus on a new tradition post divorce for vacations and special times rather than relying on just the past actions or customs of the family while married. Read On

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Birt Law is committed to answering your questions about Family law issues. We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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