If you get divorced in Illinois, you will have to divide your marital property. When children are involved, decisions about child support and custody will be made. Alimony (known in Illinois as maintenance) also can come into the picture in some circumstances. But under what conditions can you ask for more alimony/maintenance? Learn about this critical topic in this article, and if you have questions about the alimony you receive, our alimony lawyer in Chicago can help today.
Before the court will consider how much and how long you should receive maintenance, the judge must determine if maintenance should be paid. The judge will review the following factors when making this decision:
For your maintenance in Illinois to be increased, you must prove there was a significant change in circumstances since the original order was put into place. You also will need to show that your economic needs are greater than they were before. Once the alimony order is in place, if a substantial change warrants a higher payment, you can file a motion with the court asking for a modification. This assumes the terms of your maintenance award allow a modification; some agreements originally entered into bar modifications.
What is a substantial change in financial circumstances? A common situation is if the recipient spouse lost their job, had hours cut, or suffered another financial loss. Or, there could be more significant healthcare costs requiring a higher income to pay your bills. In any alimony modification case, the paying spouse’s ability to pay and your current financial needs will be reviewed by the judge to determine if a higher spousal maintenance payment is warranted.
When the judge orders alimony, the duration of the financial assistance depends on how long the marriage was. The award can last indefinitely for a marriage that lasted at least 20 years.
Also, the order to pay alimony in Illinois ends when one of the parties dies, the one party receiving alimony remarries, the terms of the original Order for maintenance state that it ends, or the party receiving alimony cohabitates with another party continually.
In some cases, a family court judge will award alimony for a certain period that it takes for the receiving spouse to become financially independent. But the alimony order can often be modified if conditions warrant a change. You have legal options if you receive alimony but think you should get more. Please contact our alimony lawyer in Chicago at Gordon & Perlut, LLC today at (312) 360-0250 for legal assistance.