An Illinois family law court will rarely order permanent alimony. This is not to say, though, that you should not fight for a temporary alimony order that is fair and reasonable. One fair and reasonable request may be considering inflation over the months and years following your divorce. Continue reading to learn whether your alimony order will account for inflation and how an experienced Tazewell County alimony lawyer at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. can help you negotiate this.
What is the COLA clause?
When entering your litigated divorce proceedings, you must know about the cost of living adjustment (COLA) clause. This clause may be added to your alimony order, and hold that your former spouse, the alimony payer, must pay you, the alimony recipient, an increased amount based on the increased cost of living each year. An economic indicator, like the Consumer Price Index, is recommended to be used to calculate this increase.
In addition, you must also bring forward the idea of the escalator clause. This clause may be added to your alimony order, and hold that your former spouse must pay you an increased amount based on their increased earnings each year. This is usually an automatic, specified amount.
Importantly, you must fight for these clauses before your alimony agreement is settled and your divorce is finalized. This is because it will be a far greater challenge to have these clauses granted to you in a post-judgment modification request.
Besides inflation, how else can I modify my alimony order?
If you realize, after your divorce is settled, that you may need greater spousal support than you originally anticipated, then you may file a petition for a post-judgment modification. An Illinois family law court will be interested in the following factors when making its decision:
- Whether you or your former spouse have since cohabitated or remarried.
- Whether you or your former spouse have since had a change in employment status or yearly income.
- Whether you or your former spouse have since acquired new properties or other high-value assets.
- Whether you or your former spouse have since been ordered to outside child support orders.
- Whether you or your former spouse have since experienced a medical emergency (i.e., disability, physical illness, mental illness, etc).
- The duration remaining on your and your former spouse’s current alimony order.
- The tax burden of alimony for you or your former spouse.
If you require assistance with building your argument for an increased alimony order, then you must reach out to a skilled Morton divorce lawyer today. We look forward to collaborating with you.