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Three Things to Consider When Determining a Spousal Maintenance Agreement in Illinois

 Posted on January 21, 2022 in Divorce

naperville alimony lawyerWhen large discrepancies in income exist between former spouses, or when one spouse gave up significant employment opportunities to raise children or care for a home, spousal maintenance may be awarded. Not every Illinois divorce involves spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support), but when it is fair and appropriate, spousal maintenance must be negotiated. But how much is fair? And how are amounts and the length of payments determined? Here are three factors to consider if you are negotiating spousal maintenance in your Illinois divorce. 

What Was the Marital Standard of Living? 

Spousal maintenance is not determined simply by how much money one spouse strictly needs until he or she becomes financially independent. If spouses shared a high standard of living, then both spouses will want to continue that lifestyle after their divorce. Illinois courts would consider it unfair that, after enjoying a certain standard of living for many years, one spouse suddenly becomes much poorer while the other spouse continues the same lifestyle as they enjoyed during the marriage - especially when there are children involved. 

What, If Any, Career Sacrifices Were Made? 

Many spouses will give up aggressively pursuing an education or career in favor of raising children and caring for a home. Illinois courts respect the work involved in raising children and want to ensure that a stay-at-home parent is not financially punished in a divorce. However, there is usually a limit to how long spousal maintenance payments last. Unless a couple was married for decades, there is a formula for helping spouses determine how long maintenance payments will last while the receiving spouse gets back up on his or her feet financially. 

Will Educational or Career Pursuits Be Impeded By Caring For Young Children? 

While spousal maintenance ideally allows the receiving spouse to have enough time to pursue education or career opportunities, the ongoing responsibilities of caring for young children may interfere with that timeline. Spousal maintenance may last longer when divorcing parents have young children because of familial constraints on going back to school or work. 

Call a Naperville, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Today

Knowing how to negotiate a fair spousal maintenance agreement is an important part of any divorce where alimony is involved. To learn more about how you could benefit from the representation of an experienced Naperville, IL spousal maintenance lawyer with Calabrese Associates, P.C., call us today to schedule an initial consultation by phone or in person. Contact us at 630-393-3111



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