In Illinois, both spouses in a disputed marriage are responsible for providing spousal maintenance and gender has nothing to do with it. This is the cornerstone of spousal maintenance court proceedings, but the main issue a judge determines is whether the maintenance is appropriate. Here are some things they consider.
The court considers several factors when deciding how long the spousal maintenance should be and what should be awarded. One of the most asked questions is: If one of the spouses is unemployed, can he/she support him or herself post-divorce? The second question is how much can they earn after the split?
If there is a large difference between spouse’s incomes (i.e. one can earn only minimum wage and the other can earn significantly more and has disposable income), the court will accept a spousal maintenance request. If the maintenance is awarded, the sum of money depends on the length of the marriage until the divorce proceedings took place.
For example, short-term marriages (1 year or less) see their hopes for maintenance often dashed. Even though there is no rule in the state that certain durations merit support, marriages that are short lived are often denied via a simple formula.
Standard of Living
Additionally, the standard of living established during a marriage is also taken into consideration to ensure the receiving spouse can maintain the same lifestyle they had pre-divorce. However, paying for two households is costlier than one – especially the couple’s standard of living was lavish.
In such cases, the court may balance claims against existing income and assets of the supporting spouse. This way, both parties can maintain a standard of living that is fair, reasonably comfortable and affordable.
Before determining spousal maintenance awards, you should also go through the changes in the laws pertaining to it. Before 2019, these were tax deductible and taxable as income to the receiving spouse. However, according to new laws, the amount is not considered to be taxable income for the latter.
These changes can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a seasoned divorce lawyer from Casement Law Group on your side. Our experienced lawyers can ensure your rights are not violated during this challenging time with aggressive representation. Get in touch with us at our office in Elgin, Illinois, by calling 847-888-9300. Start a new life on the best footing possible with expert legal advice and representation.