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Do Illinois Courts Still Award Spousal Support?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Family LawyerAt one time, when a couple divorced, it was almost a given that the husband would be ordered to pay the wife alimony, now commonly referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Over the past several decades, as societal roles have changed and women have become financially independent, spousal support is much less common than it used to be. There are also divorces where the wife is ordered to pay the husband support.

Although it is not as common, there are circumstances where the court will order one spouse to pay the other support. The following is a brief overview of how spousal maintenance works in Illinois divorces.

Types of Spousal Support

The court will order spousal support payments based on the specific needs of the spouse who will be receiving the payments, as well as the income of the spouse who will be paying. In Illinois, there are five different types of spousal maintenance that the court could order:

  • Temporary – The court will sometimes order temporary support while the divorce is pending. The purpose is to help the receiving spouse cover all of their expenses until the divorce decree has been issued and the marital estate has been divided between the couple.

  • Fixed Term – This type of support is generally ordered when the court allows the receiving spouse a certain amount of time to be able to financially support themselves. This is commonly ordered in divorces where one spouse was a stay-at-home parent or gave up their career in order to raise the couple’s children. The court will impose a time limit to how long the support will be paid.

  • Reviewable – With reviewable spousal support, the goal is similar to a fixed term, but instead of a concrete deadline, there will be periodic reviews to see what efforts the receiving spouse has made to become self-supporting.

  • Indefinite – Indefinite spousal support, also referred to as permanent support, is only ordered in divorces where the couple had been married for 20 or more years. In most cases, it is awarded for the same time period as the length of the marriage or it can also be awarded for the lifetime of the receiving spouse.

  • Lump Sum – In most spousal support orders, the paying spouse will make monthly payments to the receiving spouse. Under a lump sum plan, the support payment will be paid in one payment. Your attorney can advise you on whether this is the most beneficial for your situation.

Contact a DuPage County Family Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce, many issues besides spousal support may need to be addressed. Make sure your best interests are protected by having a dedicated Wheaton, IL divorce attorney advocating for you. Call Hensley Sendek Law at 630-358-9029 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.



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