Illinois Alimony (spousal maintenance) is not always just a matter of a check in the mail. In fact, there are many different types of alimony which can be paid depending on the needs of the recipient. Although some alimony is paid directly from a spouse to a former spouse, sometimes other entities may be paid the alimony to the benefit of the recipient instead. First let’s look at two of the main types of alimony paid directly to the recipient of alimony, permanent and rehabilitative:
Permanent periodic alimony is usually reserved for long term marriages where a financially dependent spouse has contributed to the financial success of the marriage in intangible ways such as when a spouse gives up a career to raise children and manage household affairs while the other spouse pursues a career.
Typically a payer of alimony will be ordered to pay a monthly sum to their financially dependent ex after the settlement agreement is executed and continue to pay on a monthly basis until it terminates upon the payer or recipients death or if a recipient remarries.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded in cases where a financially dependent spouse needs a period of time to become self-sufficient. The recipient has earning potential, but may need time to reenter the workforce or brush up in skills in order to secure employment. The alimony payment period will be limited to a reasonable period of time to be determined. In contrast to permanent alimony being awarded for longer term marriages, rehabilitative is more likely to be awarded in marriages of shorter duration.
Other Types of Alimony
Sometimes, the payment of alimony to other entities for the purpose of satisfying a recipient’s debts or to retain the recipient’s medical health insurance may be ordered. The benefit is that there are stronger enforcement mechanisms in place if these obligations are part of alimony to be paid when compared to simply assigning debt or signaling an obligation to keep insurance to the other spouse in a settlement agreement. Of course, the recipient is still taxed on the alimony payments as if they were received directly, but depending on the needs of the recipient, this method of alimony payment may be beneficial. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these examples of alimony being paid indirectly for the benefit of the recipient:
Alimony to Pay off Debt
A creative approach to the payment of spousal support is through the payment of debt. In cases where a dependent spouse has substantial marital debt in their name alone (not joint debt in the eyes of the creditor), the other spouse will pay the creditor directly. This requires some oversight on the recipient’s part to make sure the payments are being made by their ex to avoid defaulting, but enforcing the payment of debt may be easier when placed under the banner of alimony, because of course, the failure to pay spousal support, or child support for that matter, is highly frowned upon by the courts.
Alimony as Medical Insurance
When couples divorce, one spouse may lose medical insurance offered through their spouse’s employer. If they do not qualify for insurance through their own employer or if they are not employed, spousal support can be used to cover medical insurance such as Cobra continuation coverage. Alimony paid to secure medical health coverage will continue according to the terms of the divorce settlement agreement or, since it is being paid as spousal support, may be terminated if a recipient spouse remarries or until the death of either the payer or recipient.
Contact an Experienced Libertyville Illinois Alimony Lawyer
When it comes to Illinois spousal support, one size does not fit all. Courts will consider many factors to determine if alimony will be awarded, for how much, and how long. The payment of alimony can be made directly to the recipient or be paid to other entities for the benefit of the recipient depending on the unique circumstances surrounding a case. If you have questions regarding Illinois spousal maintenance, contact the Libertyville (IL) family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates, PC at 847-495-6000 for more information today.