A court may order one spouse to pay “spousal support” to the other spouse after the divorce. This is sometimes called “maintenance” or “alimony.” The purpose of spousal support is to help the ex-spouse support themselves. However, the court is not required to order spousal support. Many divorces do not result in an order for spousal support. Courts generally expect people who are able to work to find a job and support themselves. The laws for spousal support are the same for men and women.
For example, a court will look at things such as:
- How much income and property each spouse has
- What each spouse’s needs are
- How much each spouse earns now and can earn in the future
- How much time each spouse spent doing household duties
- How much time it would take for the spouse needing support to get a job or the training and education necessary to get a job
- What type of lifestyle the couple had during the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted
- What the ages, and physical and emotional conditions are of both spouses
- Whether there are or were any agreements between the spouses
To determine how much support to order, courts now use a specific formula. It is based on the length of the marriage and the income of each person.
Spousal support can be either temporary or permanent. Courts will usually award permanent support only for marriages that have lasted for at least 20 years. In shorter marriages, courts will generally award temporary support.
Chicago Family Law Group welcomes your call if you have a spousal support issue that needs to be resolved today. We’ll be happy to bring our years of experience to bear on your case.
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