Is Alimony Guaranteed After Divorce?

Whether you have heard it referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support, alimony is an important part of the divorce process as it impacts each partner's financial standing and well-being after the split. Many separating couples have questions about alimony as they end their marriage: Who will receive spousal support? How much will they receive and who will be responsible for the maintenance? What happens if one partner refuses to pay?

How Do I Know If I Will Receive Alimony After My Divorce?

One of the most common questions about alimony right off the bat is usually, “Am I guaranteed alimony after my divorce?”. The answer to this question is no. Not every spouse is eligible for alimony, and there are many factors that determine this outcome. In general, the court will decide if you get alimony and how much, based on your specific circumstances. The decision is always made on a case-by-case basis, according to Illinois law.

First, the court considers all of the following factors (and more) to determine whether or not a temporary or permanent maintenance award for either spouse is appropriate:

  • The needs of each party;
  • The current and future earning capacity of each party, and any relevant impairments in this area;
  • The time it will take for either party to acquire the necessary training and/or education for a certain job, trade, or career path;
  • The standard of living that was established during the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  • Any pre-existing, valid agreements between both parties;
  • The emotional state of both parties; and
  • Economic circumstances and how the effects of property and asset division.

Should the court find that alimony is appropriate, the amount to be paid must be determined, as well as the length of time for which such payments should continue. The law in Illinois provides a formula for calculating both of these considerations, which should be used in most divorce cases. A court, however, retains the discretion to deviate from the statutory guidelines based on the circumstances of the situation.

If you are inching your way through the divorce process and want to explore your spousal support options, you should speak with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney who can provide you with some guidance and insight. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at (630) 793-6337 today for a consultation.


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