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DuPage County spousal support lawyerWhile it is not ordered in every divorce case, spousal maintenance (which may also be known as alimony or spousal support) can be an important factor for some couples. This form of financial support will allow a spouse who relied primarily on their partner’s income during their marriage to support themselves and maintain their lifestyle. However, spousal maintenance will usually only last temporarily, so it is important to understand when it will end and make plans accordingly.

Types of Spousal Maintenance

Depending on a couple’s situation, different types of spousal support may be awarded, and the type of maintenance will affect how long it will be paid. These types include:

  • Temporary maintenance - One spouse may be required to pay support to the other during the divorce process to ensure that they will be able to cover their ongoing expenses. These payments will be terminated when the divorce is finalized, and at that point, any support arrangements included in the divorce decree or judgment will go into effect.

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Naperville IL divorce attorneyGetting divorced can have a major impact on your finances. You will probably need to make a number of adjustments as you shift from managing a home using the income that you and your spouse earned together to using a single income to cover your ongoing expenses. If there is a disparity between the income you earn and the amount your spouse makes, this could introduce additional complications into your divorce proceedings. In these cases, spousal maintenance, which is sometimes referred to as spousal support or alimony, may be appropriate.

When Is a Spouse Eligible to Receive Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is not appropriate in every divorce, but it may be awarded if one spouse earns the majority of the family’s income or if the other spouse has been reliant on the wages and benefits earned by their former partner. For example, a stay-at-home parent may not currently earn any income, and their former spouse may be required to make ongoing payments to ensure that they can maintain their accustomed standard of living following the divorce.

Spouses may agree in their divorce settlement that maintenance will be paid, or the decision about whether to award maintenance may be left up to the judge in their case. This decision will be based on a number of factors, including the income each spouse earns, their ongoing needs, their ability to find work and earn suitable wages and benefits, and decisions about child custody and parenting time. A judge may also look at whether a spouse made sacrifices to their career because of the family or whether one spouse helped the other obtain education or training that helped them advance their career.

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