When a marriage ends and one spouse does not have the financial means to maintain his or her established lifestyle, alimony comes into play. Alimony could go to an ex-spouse who was formerly dependent upon the other for financial support during the marriage. When the marriage ends, Illinois divorce courts may determine an alimony support amount to ensure a relatively smooth financial transition into single adulthood.
How an ex-spouse qualifies for alimony
A divorce court will review the income of each spouse, go over their financial needs and assess current and future earnings potential. The court will also consider the impact of the marriage on the earnings potential for each spouse, how long the marriage lasted and the standard of living to which the spouses became accustomed during the marriage. Rather than allow a significant reduction in standard of living, the court may issue an order for financial support via alimony.
How the amount is determined
When a court determines that financial support is in order, it will weigh any prior child support or alimony obligations from a prior marriage and its impact on the current divorce case. The receiving spouse cannot get more than 40% of the combined total annual gross incomes involved. A common amount is about 30% of the paying spouse’s annual gross income minus 20% of the receiving spouses annual gross income. Marriages that last at least 20 years could qualify for permanent support in a divorce.
Learn more about alimony support
Whether you are the one likely to pay alimony or collect it, an experienced family law attorney may help you to better understand its likely impact on your case. An attorney may be able to help you to build the best possible case to either collect more or reduce your potential support payment to ensure fairness for both parties.