Divorces occur every day throughout Illinois. In some cases, assets and liabilities are divided and the individuals part ways. However, in other cases, things are not so simple and one spouse has become dependent upon the other in order to maintain their standard of living. While this may be the case, it does not mean that the individual must remain in an unhappy marriage. In this case, alimony may be appropriate.
Some families decide that one spouse will leave the workforce once children come into the picture. Often, when this spouse tries to enter the workforce after being absent for a number of years, he or she struggles in finding employment that pays what the individual would have been making if this absence had not occurred. The courts recognize this fact and will often grant alimony as a means of assisting this spouse in re-establishing a life outside of the marriage.
Just like other income, alimony is reportable income for tax purposes. Thus, it must be included as income on tax return forms, and taxes will be owed on this money. Likewise, for the individual paying alimony, it may be included as a deduction for tax purposes.
Accounting for time out of the workforce is not the only reason for which an Illinois court will grant alimony. However, it is a common one. Each divorce situation is different, and an experienced divorce attorney can analyze each situation to assist in determine the best way to structure the final settlement and whether alimony should be a part of it.
Source: dmagazine.com, "Divorce Doesn't Mean It's Over...Yet", Oct. 23, 2017