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.
The Illinois State Bar Association notes that the courts will often side with the spouse who is not working in terms of alimony. If you are working and your spouse is not, then to take care of him or her, you may be ordered to pay alimony. So, it is a good idea to encourage your spouse to find a job and make his or her own income.
In addition, it is important to understand that the longer you are married, the more likely it is that alimony will be awarded. If you are not happy in your marriage and have been married a short time, then dragging things out when you know divorce is inevitable could do you more harm than good. Also, the longer the marriage, the longer the payments usually last, so even ending it a year earlier than planned can save you money in the long run.
Finally, you should try to create a premarital or post-marital agreement that outlines maintenance payments. You have the right to create an agreement that forbids either of you from asking for alimony. This may be your best option to protect yourself against having to pay. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.