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Spousal Support Archives

The complications of alimony following a divorce

For Illinois couples experiencing marital strain, divorce is a welcomed alternative to resolve strenuous differences. However, divorce brings with it a significant number of implications that must be addressed to reach a mutual agreement that is beneficial for both parties. Some of the decisions that need to be made are related to child support and custody, separation of assets, finances and property, and spousal support or alimony.

How should you spend your alimony checks?

If you have been granted alimony by an Illinois judge, it indicates that your marriage and divorce have put you at a disadvantage financially. The support you get from your ex-spouse is not intended to be a punishment for him or her, but a way to prevent that hardship from destroying your life. The payments typically do not last indefinitely, but using them wisely may restore your earning potential and help you become independent, or may meet other important needs.

Benefits of spousal support reform

Spousal support, which is called spousal maintenance in Illinois, is a common order that may have been made in your divorce case. It is usually decided by a judge because it is rarely easy to come to an agreement through negotiations, based on our experience at Butler, Giraudo & Meister. You should be aware that the spousal maintenance laws in the state were revised in 2016, which introduced some changes to how support is decided.  

Why pay alimony?

Marriage entails sacrifices on the part of both spouses, and this may lead to one of them giving up a professional career and economic independence to care for their children. Divorce leaves both affected spousal parties in a state of uneven economic status. To balance this out, one ex-spouse may be asked to pay a certain amount of alimony to the other.

Criteria for awarding alimony in Illinois

The days of the husband paying for an ex-wife's upkeep are long gone. These days, alimony can be awarded to either of the spouses. Courts in Illinois don't ask for proof of fault or marital misconduct when deciding how much alimony is to be paid. There are other factors that are taken into account when deciding the specifics of the amount of alimony to be awarded.

How Courts Enforce Alimony Payment

Often times after a divorce, one of the former spouses will try to get out of paying alimony to their ex-partner. If the courts discover this violation of the divorce orders they pronounced, they have recourse to a number of methods to make the person pay alimony. A judge has the option to order the confiscation of all of the person's personal property, including all the rents and profit from real estate. The proceeds from the seized property will be used to provide alimony on the direction of the court.

Important things to know about alimony

Spousal support or alimony is the amount of money awarded to one of the former spouses after a couple gets divorced. Spousal support may be agreed upon by the couple prior to the divorce, or a court may take this decision. The primary goal of spousal support is to mitigate the possible unfair financial effects a divorce may have on the low or non-wage earning spouse.

Important changes to Illinois divorce laws

A significant shift has been witnessed in the divorce laws of Illinois. These changes are of prime importance for men going through a divorce. While in the past the father had to pay more and lose custody of the child as well, the law has now been amended to allow for a more collaborative parenting approach. The changes made to the law will help reduce conflict and establish better equity for former spouses. 

Alimony order requirements and proceedings

Alimony, also called spousal support, refers to provisions made by one spouse to another after a separation or divorce. Alimony is not a requirement for divorce, and nowadays most courts stay away from granting alimony. It is up to the judge, however, to decide whether alimony orders need to be issued or not.   

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