Understanding Spousal Maintenance
In many cases, one of the spouses is entitled to spousal maintenance from the other. In Illinois, “alimony” is called “maintenance”. Determining whether you are a candidate to receive maintenance or you have a potential maintenance obligation is an important aspect of your case.
Kirsh & Associates, LTD. works closely with you to ensure you understand your options with regards to this important aspect of your divorce.
What does spousal maintenance cover?
In many marriages, the spouses divide responsibilities in a way that best serves each family member’s needs. Oftentimes, this division entails one spouse serving as a homemaker while the other spouse earns the majority of the family income. Illinois law recognizes the career and financial sacrifices the non-earning spouse has made in order to focus on raising children and other family issues. While each spouse has an obligation to support themselves, a financially disadvantaged spouse will not be left to fend for themselves with only their individual income. In such cases the income-earning spouse will be required to pay maintenance to the other spouse.
The amount and duration of maintenance is guided by a statutory formula. However, deviation from the guidelines is often appropriate. Factors that determine both the existence of a maintenance obligation and, if an obligation exists, its amount and duration include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The income history of each spouse
- The income potential of each spouse
- The financial needs of both spouses
- The child rearing and homemaker responsibilities of each parent