Spousal Support (Maintenance)

Depending on the circumstances of a divorce, marital assets, and each spouse's earnings, the payment of spousal support, formerly called alimony, can easily escalate into a highly contested matter. This topic is made more complex by the simple fact that the dissolution of a marriage does not guarantee support payments from one spouse to another. In the absence of a binding, enforceable Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial agreement, the court awards spousal support payments based on guidelines specified in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and applied specifically to the facts of your case.

In general, as the length of a marriage increases, so does the duration of spousal support payments; and, as the income differential increases between spouses, so too does the amount of support payments. The experienced family law attorneys at Wayne and Jemilo help each of our clients understand the options involved in negotiating the support payments for their unique circumstances. Depending on the facts of a marriage, support negotiations may include a variety of creative and effective strategies. Our attorneys possess the financial acumen and tax expertise that is vital for considering tax impacts; thereby, developing, and negotiating the best outcome possible for each client.

Illinois Spousal Support Guidelines

Illinois courts consider the following factors when determining whether or not to award spousal support, how much to award, and for how long payments should be made:

  • The existence of any valid agreement between the parties;
  • The income and property of each party, including marital property apportioned and non-marital property assigned to the party seeking maintenance;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The present and future earning capacity of each party;
  • The needs of each party and the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Any impairment of the present and future earning capacities of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage;
  • Contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
  • The time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child making it appropriate that the custodian not seek employment;
  • The age and physical and emotional condition of both parties;
  • The tax consequences of property division upon each party; and,
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.

Whether you need help obtaining initial spousal support, negotiating minimal payments, or modifying or enforcing an existing agreement, contact our law office at (312)332-2919 to schedule a consultation.