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What types of alimony is available in Illinois?

In 2011, roughly 33,789 people in Illinois went through a divorce or annulment. According to the Illinois Department of Health, that is only slightly up from the same number of people who experienced a divorce in 2010.

Many of those couples likely discussed alimony, or, as many in the state prefer to call it now, spousal maintenance payments. A judge will review a number of factors to determine if a spouse will have to make payments and how much those payments will be. Under Illinois alimony laws, those factors include both spouses’ income and property, the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage and each spouse’s earning capacity.

After reviewing all the information, a judge may choose to apply one of the following situations:

  • Temporary maintenance – This could be put in place while the divorce is pending, and it would end once the divorce is final.
  • Rehabilitative maintenance – This is typically given to a spouse who needs some time to become financially independent through finding work. There is often a specific time frame set for how long this type of support will last.
  • Permanent Maintenance – A judge may find permanent support applicable if the marriage was lengthy or if certain spouses cannot support themselves.

It is important for people receiving spousal support to understand that payments may be modified or changed, even in situations involving permanent maintenance. For example, if the receiving spouse remarries or cohabitates with a new partner, the person paying the support may request to terminate.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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