A divorce settlement agreement is a legal document that lays out the terms of a divorce and often includes details regarding child custody and support, property division, spousal maintenance and other relevant factors in a divorce. Divorcing couples often have questions regarding the payment of spousal maintenance.
Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is often awarded to a spouse in a divorce if the other spouse earns a substantially higher wage, which sometimes results when one spouse has given up a career to raise the family’s children.
Factors a court considers when determining if spousal maintenance will be awarded include:
The length of the marriage – the longer the marriage translates into a longer duration of spousal maintenance payments. For example, marriages of less than 10 years may result in a finite period of spousal maintenance payment whereas a marriage of 20 years or longer may yield permanent maintenance.
Need and ability -Does one spouse need financial support and is the other spouse able to pay it? This really depends on the financial resources and earning capability of each spouse. In situations where a spouse earns substantially less than the other, he or she may request spousal maintenance for a period of time in order to get training, education and experience to land a good job.
Health Issues – Does either spouse have a health condition that undermines their ability to earn an adequate wage? Spousal maintenance may be awarded if a health condition interferes with a spouse’s ability to earn a living if the other spouse is able to pay.
Other relevant factors – There are a myriad of factors that can influence whether a spouse will be awarded spousal maintenance and for what duration.
When you have questions regarding divorce settlement agreements for Illinois spousal maintenance, contact the family law offices Ronald L. Bell & Associates PC for immediate assistance at 847-495-6000.