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DuPage County Spousal Maintenance Attorney

West Chicago spousal support lawyer

Lawyer for Spousal Support and Alimony in Wheaton and Winfield

As you prepare for a divorce, it is important to ensure that you will remain financially stable after your marriage is dissolved. Sometimes, this can be achieved through a fair division of marital property, but if you have few assets or sources of income of your own, it may take some time after your divorce for you to become financially independent. When this is the case, you may need to pursue spousal maintenance so that you have a regular source of income in the coming years.

Attorney Jessica Sendek can help you negotiate or petition the court for the spousal support you need to assure your financial security. With over 10 years of family law experience, she has the knowledge and skill to help you reach a divorce resolution that fully considers your needs. She strives to make her services affordable and accessible, and to provide personal, one-on-one attention to each of her clients.

Spousal Maintenance in an Illinois Divorce

In Illinois, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, is not awarded in every divorce, nor is it awarded as compensation for marital misconduct. Rather, it is only awarded when a spouse has a demonstrable financial need. For this reason, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you make the case for maintenance, whether you are able to do so through negotiation with your spouse or the matter must be decided in a trial.

When the question of awarding spousal support comes before the court, several factors will be considered to determine if an award is appropriate. These include:

  • The result of the division of marital property in the divorce
  • Each spouse's non-marital assets and income
  • Each spouse's earning capacity
  • The couple's standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse's age, health, and needs
  • The contributions of the spouse seeking maintenance to the marriage and the other spouse's education or career, especially at the expense of their own
  • The allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities
  • Terms regarding spousal maintenance in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

If the court determines that spousal support is warranted, the amount is usually calculated by subtracting one-quarter of the recipient's annual income from one-third of the payor's annual income. However, the court may deviate from this calculation in a high asset divorce involving a combined income of more than $500,000, or under other circumstances in which the calculation is deemed to be inappropriate.

In some cases, maintenance can also be granted before the divorce is finalized. For example, the court can issue a spousal support order as part of a judgment of legal separation, or an order for temporary maintenance while the divorce is in progress. However, you should note that the terms established in these orders may not reflect the terms of your final divorce decree.

How Long Does Spousal Support Continue?

In most cases in Illinois, the duration of spousal maintenance payments is determined based on the length of the marriage. For a marriage lasting less than five years, maintenance will usually only continue for 20 percent of the length of the marriage, but this percentage increases with each additional year of marriage up to a total of 20 years. For marriages of 20 years or more, the court can order maintenance for a duration equal to the length of the marriage or an indefinite duration.

A spousal maintenance order can also be modified in the years after a divorce, either upon the court's scheduled review or a petition for modification from one of the parties after a substantial change in circumstances. If the receiving spouse remarries or starts living with a new partner, or if either spouse dies, the spousal support order will terminate.

Contact a Naperville Spousal Support Lawyer

If you need legal guidance and representation for your pursuit of spousal support, contact us for a free consultation at 630-358-9029. We will work to help you move on from your divorce with the financial means to continue living comfortably. From our Wheaton, IL office, we serve clients in West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Naperville, Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Lisle, and surrounding areas in DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, and Will County.

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