How Long is Spousal Maintenance Paid in Illinois?

How Long is Spousal Maintenance Paid in Illinois?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Divorce can have a devastating impact on your finances. Particularly if you relied on your spouse in meeting monthly expenses, getting used to living on your own often proves challenging. Spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony in Illinois, can help you in making the adjustment. Our Chicago and Evanston family law attorneys explain who may be entitled to spousal support payment and how long you can expect it to last.

Are You Entitled To Spousal Maintenance In Illinois

When going through a divorce in Cook County, getting the maximum amount you are entitled to in any final orders is a top priority. Depending on the circumstances, this may include spousal support payments. Spousal maintenance can help you maintain your standard of living after divorce or gain the education, experience, or skills needed to reenter the workforce. Factors that will influence whether you are entitled to spousal maintenance include:

  • The length of your marriage
  • The circumstances surrounding your divorce
  • The current and future earning potential of each spouse
  • Whether you sacrificed your own career or education in support of your spouse or to raise children and perform other domestic duties in the marriage

How Long Do Spousal Support Payments In Cook County Last?

The Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/504) contain guidelines for spousal support payments which are generally based on the length of time you were married. For example, if you were married for five years, you may be entitled to a year of spousal support.

The percentage increases the longer you and your spouse were together, so for 10 years, you may receive four years of support; for 15, you may be entitled to 10 years of payments. Once you reach 20 plus years, you are generally able to collect spousal maintenance for the same amount of time as you were married.

In some cases, the court will deviate from these guidelines. Based on your circumstances, the judge may instead order one of the following:

  • Fixed-term spousal maintenance: As the name implies, this type of award has a specific end date and may not extend beyond what would otherwise be allowed. It often applies in cases where a spouse continues to raise minor children from the marriage, needs to obtain experience or a degree, or has some other specific timeline before they can become completely self-supporting.
  • Indefinite spousal maintenance: This is when the court orders spousal support payments with no fixed expiration date. It is often used in long-term marriages and when the receiving spouse is unlikely to ever return to the workforce.
  • Reviewable spousal maintenance: In some situations, the court may order maintenance for a specific period of time, after which a review will be held to determine whether payments will continue.

Contact Our Evanston Family Law Attorney For More Information

To find out more about spousal maintenance and to ensure you get the total amount you deserve, reach out to Gordon & Perlut, LLC. Call the Chicago and Evanston family law attorneys at Gordon & Perlut, LLC to discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation today.