Spousal Maintenance/Alimony in Illinois

Spousal maintenance is the technical legal term for alimony, or payments from one spouse to the other in divorce. The law related to alimony is far more flexible than child support law, and you can’t assume that one divorcing spouse will need to make any payments at all to the other. There are no bright-line calculations in Illinois for alimony. However, the court will examine numerous factors such as the length of marriage, work history, work abilities, level of education and skills. Beginning in 2015, Illinois law on spousal maintenance will change.

Call 847-244-4696 to Learn About Your Spousal Support Options Under Illinois Divorce Law

Our Waukegan spousal support attorneys will work closely with you to determine if and how alimony will play into your divorce case. Alimony issues are highly negotiable and flexible. A prenuptial agreement can waive maintenance rights or provide for a lump sum payment in place of continuing support. Alimony is usually negotiated together with the property settlement, and the tax aspects of the situation might influence the discussions. If you are interested in alimony, contact Shaw Law Ltd., for a free in-office consultation in Waukegan, Illinois, regarding your divorce.

The strongest case in favor of a spousal maintenance award will come up in long-term marriages of 20 years or more, where one spouse earns a fairly high income and the other has been out of the workforce for a long time. In a short-term marriage where each spouse has a career, there probably won’t be any alimony at all. The toughest cases come up in the middle ranges with distinctive facts, such as a 10-year marriage where one spouse hasn’t been working recently, but has a college education and some rusty job skills. In a case like that, each side will be able to present a good case, and a rehabilitative maintenance award that lasts two or three years might be the most likely outcome.

Keep in mind, spousal maintenance is reviewable unless parties agree otherwise. However, we strongly advise our clients to always consider the future and how establishing a definite “out-date” is possible through an agreement.

Alimony and Tax Considerations
Since alimony is tax deductible, there are tax considerations to make when negotiating a divorce settlement. If alimony and child support are collectively characterized as unallocated family maintenance and support, the entire amount could then be tax deductible. In other words, unallocated family maintenance can include both child support and spousal support payments. Since child support is not tax-deductible, this is certainly something to consider when structuring a divorce agreement.

Illinois Alimony Lawyers Serving Lake County and the Northern Suburbs
For additional information about how we can help with your divorce and questions about alimony, contact a Waukegan divorce lawyer at Shaw Law Ltd., for a free in-office consultation.

Meet Mark L. Shaw

Mark Shaw founded the firm in 1995. Previously, he was a trial lawyer at Winston & Strawn. He received a B.S. Pharm., with honors, from Purdue University, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Indiana University. He is a licensed pharmacist having practiced in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.


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