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The ins and outs of alimony in Illinois

If you are going through a divorce in Illinois, you may wonder what your life may look like at the end of it all. How will you fare financially? Will you have to pay alimony? Will you get to collect spousal support? Alimony could make or break your post-divorce financial situation, so it is certainly something you should be looking into.

Every state has different laws regarding alimony. Not everyone qualifies for this benefit. Couples have the opportunity to figure out an alimony payment on their own, but if they cannot come to terms, the courts will get to make a final ruling on the matter.

Illinois alimony basics

As previously stated, spousal support is not something that is awarded in many divorce cases. If you and your spouse cannot come to terms, the individual requesting support can file an official request for court review. If your case goes to court, a judge will look at several factors before deciding if there is a reason to grant support, how much and for how long. These factors include:

  • Each party's income level
  • Each party's financial needs
  • Marital standard of living
  • Length of the marriage
  • The health of each party
  • Terms of the property division settlement
  • Special needs of either party

In other words, a judge typically wants to see a need for support. Of course, time in a marriage does count for something as well.

Alimony is often only awarded on a temporary basis -- sometimes only for a couple of years. Just enough to allow the receiving spouse time to get on his or her feet financially. In Illinois, there is a possibility for permanent alimony -- which is not offered in every state. Those who may qualify for this type have been in long-term marriages and are typically in or near their retirement years.

How much support you either have to pay or will receive is different for everyone. It is usually a percentage of the paying party's income. Legal counsel can help you figure out how much you may have to pay or how much you can ask for.

Have alimony questions?

If you have concerns about alimony, it is okay to ask questions. Everyone wants to walk away from his or her marriage in a decent financial position. Making sure an alimony order is fair, if awarded, can certainly help your post-divorce financial situation.

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