What determines if a spouse gets alimony in Illinois?
Entitlement to alimony usually depends on who earns more money. Spousal support or maintenance payments usually require the spouse earning the higher wage to pay alimony to the spouse earning less.
However, the court will also take into consideration the amount of money earned by the spouse earning less money, adjusting alimony payments accordingly.
The court has various forms of spousal support payments to choose from, usually based on the needs of the lower-earning spouse. Some of these include reimbursement alimony, lump-sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony for vocational training or education, temporary alimony paid during the divorce, and permanent alimony.
In the state of Illinois, alimony isn’t permanent, there’s usually an expiration date attached to the divorce settlement, a specific time frame by which all parties should agree.
Before finalizing a divorce, the court would consider a variety of variables pertaining specifically to each case before determining the amount and length of alimony payments.
However, if the two parties cannot amicably agree on a payout settlement, the court may instruct the two parties to seek a skilled DuPage County Spousal Support Attorney that the state of Illinois provides for situations requiring an experienced mediator to assist in reaching a fair and equitable outcome for all concerned.
Under Illinois state law statue 750 ILCS 5/504, the following factors are used to determine whether maintenance is appropriate:
- Income and property of each spouse
- The financial need of each party
- Future earning capacity of each party
- Any potential impairment of the spouse seeking alimony
- Time needed by the alimony seeking spouse in acquiring job training education and skills
- A standard of living acquired during the marriage
- Length of marriage
- Age, health, occupation, and or vocational skills of both parties
- Other forms of income not listed
- Tax liabilities of alimony payments
Once the court determines that alimony payments are justified, statutory guidelines will then determine the appropriate amount and duration of spousal payments (alimony) to be awarded.
The court will base its decision by first looking at the income earned by both parties and then how long the parties were married to one another. However, if both parties earned a combined gross annual income in excess of $500,000 or more, the court may decide to abandoned those guidelines and award the maintenance payments it deems appropriate.