How Long Do I Have to Pay Spousal Support in Illinois?
By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC
Nobody gets married thinking that their union won’t last, however, many marriages end in divorce. When a marriage ends in divorce, couples need to try to come to an agreement as to the settlement terms. In addition to deciding the many issues regarding the children and distributing assets and debts, some spouses may also need to obtain spousal support.
Couples need to review their finances to figure out how each will pay for their essential living expenses and other needs following a divorce. Spousal support is often the most contentious issue between spouses so it is helpful to seek guidance from experienced Chicago spousal support lawyers.
What is Spousal Support?
Spousal support is referred to in Illinois as “Maintenance” (alimony). Spousal support is money paid from one former spouse to another as part of a divorce order and is called a maintenance order. The purpose of maintenance is to ensure that both parties have the financial resources they need in order to maintain their standard of living.
If one person does not have the income or financial resources to meet their needs, the other spouse may need to provide it to them. The goal is to make sure that both people have the money they need for their basic living expenses and other costs. When one person does not have enough money to meet their needs, they may request maintenance from the other.
Reasons Spousal Support May End
There are several reasons why maintenance in Illinois may come to an end. If you have a specific length that you are required to pay alimony, you will stop paying your former spouse once you reach the time required as specified in your divorce order. Support will also end when the recipient moves in with a partner (under certain circumstances), one of you dies or your former spouse remarries.
There may also be a reason to revisit support if the financial circumstances of the person providing the payments change significantly. The length of time that you will need to pay spousal support depends on the length of your marriage. It is important to note that the length of time to pay alimony will not be based on marital misconduct.
How Long Do Support Payments Last?
The judge has some leeway over the amount and length of spousal support payments. However, the law provides guidelines for the length of time payments should be made. In general, the longer your marriage lasted, the longer support payments will be required. These are the general guidelines for spousal maintenance in Illinois:
To calculate the length of time spousal support will be paid, multiply the percentage by the number of years of marriage. For example, if you were married for ten years, you will pay alimony for approximately 4 ½ years. Those who are married 20 or more years will pay alimony for 20 years or indefinitely.
Speak to a Chicago Spousal Support Lawyer Today
Spousal maintenance is a serious concern in divorce settlements. Get the legal help you need from our Chicago spousal support attorneys. Contact us today at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, Attorneys at Law at (312) 360-0250 for a free phone consultation.