In most divorces, you and your spouse will most likely go through the process of dividing marital property and, if there are minor children involved, you will also need to determine the amount of child support to be paid and the parenting time arrangement that works well for your family. Depending on the circumstances, spousal maintenance may also factor in the divorce process. Examining the four primary types of Illinois spousal maintenance can help you decide if seeking spousal support payments is the right decision for you.
Temporary alimony is often awarded to one spouse as part of the initial divorce filing to provide financial resources during the divorce process. It may be that one spouse needs to move out of the marital home before the divorce is finalized, but may not have the financial means if the other spouse is the primary income earner. Other times, the spouse who remains in the family home may require spousal support from the departing spouse in order to continue paying the bills. Requests for temporary spousal maintenance should be made early in the divorce proceeding. Temporary alimony will terminate when the divorce is finalized, although other types of spousal maintenance may be paid after the divorce depending on the circumstances.
Fixed Term Alimony
In many families, one spouse may be the designated breadwinner, while the other remains home or works part time to prioritize the raising of children or fulfill other responsibilities outside of a 9 to 5 office workday. When couples divorce, the spouse who gave up a career to stay home may need time to get the necessary training or work experience to reenter the employment market, which is where fixed term alimony may play a role. As the name implies, fixed term spousal maintenance is awarded for a set duration, most typically to allow the recipient to become self-supporting. Sometimes referred to as rehabilitative alimony, this type of spousal support gives the lesser earning spouse time to get back on their feet after a divorce.
Although reviewable alimony is also payable for a shorter periods, it is not awarded for a set duration. Instead, the recipient’s right to receive continued payments is contingent upon court review. In most cases, it is usually a matter of the court ensuring that a good faith effort is being made to become self-supporting. Reviewable alimony is often awarded in situations where young children are involved who require care or other situations that prevent a recipient from working full time or attending classes in the foreseeable future. Checking in periodically informs the court in making ongoing determinations.
Long Term and Permanent Spousal Maintenance
Permanent alimony is reserved for the marriages of 20 years or longer, where the recipient may receive spousal maintenance indefinitely or payments equal to the duration of the marriage. Illinois has statutory guidelines regarding spousal maintenance, but determining the type, duration and amount is at the discretion of the judge.
Contact an Experienced Spousal Maintenance Attorney for Help
Whether you are awarded spousal maintenance in your divorce depends on many factors. Working with an experienced spousal maintenance attorney can help you to secure the financial support you need during and after your divorce. If you have questions regarding Illinois spousal maintenance contact the Libertyville family law offices of Ronald L Bell for immediate assistance AT 847-495-6000.