Unlike child support, Illinois does not apply a strict formula when it comes to calculating spousal support during and after a divorce. Sometimes known as "alimony" or "spousal maintenance," spousal support is available in three distinct types in Illinois:

  1. Temporary maintenance, which lasts during the divorce proceedings.
  2. Rehabilitative maintenance, which lasts until the spouse can become self-sufficient.
  3. Permanent maintenance, which lasts for the remainder of the spouse’s life, until the occurrence of terminating event, or until the court decides it is no longer necessary.

When a divorce is pending, the dependent spouse can seek temporary maintenance. This support will end when the divorce becomes final, at which point the spouse will have to seek either rehabilitative or permanent maintenance.

How Will the Court Decide Which Type of Spousal Support Is Right for Me?

In deciding to award any type of spousal maintenance, the Illinois court will consider the following factors:

  • The income and property of each spouse.
  • The needs of each spouse.
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse.
  • Any impairment of the earning capacity of the spouse seeking support due to serving as a homemaker.
  • The time necessary for the spouse seeking support to find appropriate employment.
  • The standard of living during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and health of both spouses.
  • Contribution of the spouse seeking support to the education, training, or career of the other spouse.
  • Any valid agreement between the parties, such as a prenuptial agreement.

The Illinois court may also consider any other relevant factors, such as the physical and mental health of the spouses.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help with My Spousal Support Issues?

If you have concerns about spousal support, contacting a family attorney will help you protect your legal rights and efficiently navigate you through an otherwise complicated and painful process.