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Alimony Archives

Alimony basics to consider in divorce

When Illinois couples consider divorce, there will likely be one spouse concerned about the need to receive support, and the other spouse concerned about having to pay support. Alimony laws vary among jurisdictions, and the rules for awarding alimony and calculating the amounts may differ slightly from one state to the next. However, it will help if a few general aspects of alimony are kept in mind.

Can I avoid an order to pay alimony?

Once you are ordered by a judge in Illinois to pay alimony, your only option is to pay it or face serious consequences. However, before you ever get in front of a judge or into a divorce situation, there are things you can do to help reduce the chances you will be ordered to pay alimony.

Unallocated support and tax liability

In Illinois, you may end up paying unallocated support. This is when the court combines your child support and alimony payments together. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, LTD, we review cases all the time to see if unallocated support would be a good option for our clients. In some situations, it can help you reduce tax liability. However, this is an area of some confusion, and understanding the tax laws is important to avoid issues with the IRS.

What is the role of the “standard of living” in a divorce?

When you are going through a divorce in Illinois, you will likely hear the term “standard of living.” It is important to understand what this means and how it relates to the different areas of your divorce agreement, especially alimony. This standard is used to help make many decisions, and the court relies on it to be fair and just in how it allocates your assets and assigns spousal support.

What are some important things to know about alimony in Illinois?

The alimony laws in Illinois underwent some changes in 2015 and 2016. It is important that you understand the laws if you are trying to get alimony in your divorce case. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, the spousal maintenance laws are rooted in ensuring affordability for the paying party.

Taxes and alimony

Every year, you have to file your taxes, and if you pay or receive alimony in Illinois, you may be wondering how you report it to the IRS. The short answer is that you must report it, but the IRS may define alimony a bit differently than you or the courts. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., we understand that this can be a little difficult to understand. However, it is essential to make sure you are clear on how to report alimony on your taxes.

Bankruptcy and divorce

Bankruptcy and divorce often go hand in hand in Illinois. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, LTD., we understand that debt is common in a divorce situation. Every situation is unique and bankruptcy laws are firm, so it is important to know what you may face when filing whether it is before or after a divorce.

Will I be ordered to pay alimony?

Illinois has a law that sets standards for alimony, making it much easier for your attorney to determine if you will have to pay alimony, and how much you may have to pay if you are ordered to do so. The Illinois Bar Association explains there is a formula that judges are encouraged to use to determine their rulings for spousal support.

What is alimony role reversal?

Alimony, also called spousal support in Illinois, is where you are ordered to pay financial support to your ex-spouse as part of your divorce settlement. Traditionally, wives received the alimony and husbands paid it. However, as you are probably already aware, times have changed; women have entered the workforce in growing numbers and in many cases are making more money than their spouse. If you are in the process of getting a divorce and your wife is the primary breadwinner, you should know that more and more judges are awarding alimony to husbands. This is what is called alimony role reversal.

Making sense of alimony in Illinois

Alimony is often granted in divorce cases as a way to compensate the spouse who earns the lowest wages. It is considered a form of support, which is why in Illinois it is now referred to as spousal support instead of alimony. The idea is to help ensure a continuation in the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage.