Spousal maintenance or alimony is usually negotiated during the divorce settlement and approved by a judge before it comes into effect. The amount is sought to support an ex-spouse who might use it to cover their medical bills, education, rent, or other monetary commitments after a separation. The calculations and conditions for a spousal maintained amount applied as per the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that govern the ground for both the modification, termination and approval of any agreements.
Negotiating and getting a spousal maintenance agreement can be a complex and difficult task as all needs of an ex-spouse are to be taken into consideration, including any future changes and modifications that can occur over time. Consulting an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate through the conflicting process or arguments and ensure both parties adhere to their part of the agreement as approved. However, some useful tips that can help you negotiate a better spousal maintenance agreement are as follows.
Assess Resources of Your Spouse
It is important to assess the total worth of assets before seeking, or committing to a spousal maintenance plan. The first step is to make all financial disclosures and provide lists of assets, income and future expenses as they currently are or may occur in the future. If assets were jointly held, their share of appropriation and values should apply per previous agreements.
Asses Current and Future Needs
Both spouses should asses their current and future needs. If there is an overdue medical treatment to be performed in future, it should be shared in advance and either insurance or a health plan should be sought to cover medical and rehabilitation costs. In this manner, all monthly and lifestyle expenses should be shared.
Additionally, the needs also cover education costs to receive a degree or further education that can be used to find future employment, especially if a spouse is currently unemployed. Because of the possibility of some amounts being capped at a certain amount, all estimates should be legal and demonstrate a future need. If a spouse lost a job due to divorce, compensation for job loss should be made.
Understanding the Amount
There is a possibility spousal maintenance is paid in the form of an insurance plan or financial assets that mature over time. Financial resources such as shares, dividends, or maturity of bonds should be presented in advance and all interest payments should be provided for per the agreement. Being aware of financial assets and their value reduces the risk of expiry.
If you need advice on spousal maintenance or other family law related matters, schedule a free consultation by contacting Casement Law Group at (847) 888-9300 to speak with an experienced family and real estate lawyer to help understand your rights and obligations.