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.

The court will look at the income and property owned by both spouses. The court will also look at the spouse’s lifestyle and how much they earn or may earn in the future. They will look at the length of the marriage and whether any developments have occurred which has impeded the income of the spouse asking for alimony when the reasons include time spent on domestic duty or a choice made to give up training and education because of the demands of the marriage.  They will evaluate how long the spouse asking for alimony will need to become employable and self-supporting.

Also considered is the age, physical, mental and emotional well being of the spouses. Tax considerations of dividing the property and any prior agreements made before filing for divorce. Also, the age, physical, mental and emotional well being of the spouses. 

There are many cases where both spouses can support their own lifestyle. In cases like these, the court need not award alimony at all, even if one spouse’s earnings are far greater than the other. In such cases, marital property is often distributed in favor of the spouse with a lower income. 

Alimony can be paid over different lengths of time depending on the specifics of a case. Short-term alimony, which is rehabilitative in nature, pays for the spouse’s living expenses while they go about obtaining skills for becoming self-sufficient. On the other hand, long term alimony may be awarded for a definite period and reviewed by the court after the period ends, when it may be terminated, continued or even increased, depending on the condition of the spouse.

Seeking the help of an experienced lawyer can help ensure your side is presented clearly and effectively. At this difficult time, having this support may make all the difference in your case. 

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