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Does Spousal Maintenance Ever End?

 Posted on October 16,2023 in Spousal Support

Kane County divorce lawyerSpousal maintenance or support is the official Illinois terminology used for alimony. It is awarded after a divorce so that each spouse continues to maintain the standard of living they were living while married. In most cases, spousal maintenance does end, and the duration is largely based on the length of the marriage.

Maintenance payments are calculated by taking 33 percent of the payer’s net pay and subtracting 25 percent of the recipient’s net income. Consulting a skilled divorce attorney can help you figure out what you might owe or are owed in spousal maintenance.

What Are the Different Types of Illinois Spousal Maintenance?

Illinois recognizes five variations of spousal maintenance that the court can award:

  • Temporary
  • Fixed-Term
  • Fixed-Term Reviewable
  • Permanent
  • Lump Sum

What is Most Important to Know About Each Form of Maintenance?

  • Temporary support intends to help the requesting spouse maintain financial status during the divorce process. As the name suggests, it is only a temporary solution and will either end or be amended once the divorce is finalized.
  • Fixed-term support is awarded to a spouse for a set duration where they can maintain a standard of living while they work on becoming self-sustaining. The recipient is expected to make an effort of good faith in their journey toward self-sustainability.
  • Sometimes, support requires a periodic review to see how well a recipient is doing in their efforts to become self-sustaining. So, a fixed-term support order may require a review every so often to see if they are still working in good faith to achieve employment.
  • Permanent support is strictly for individuals who have been married for 20 years or more and cannot support themselves. The factors that come into play when an individual cannot support themselves will vary, including illness or old age.
  • Depending on the parties’ best interests, a court could order a one-time lump sum payment to recover a recipient’s maintenance needs.

The court can deny spousal support if it feels both spouses are self-sustaining enough to maintain their usual standard of living. This includes couples with large income discrepancies. Illinois courts compensate for the differences by awarding more marital property to the lower-earning spouse.

What Affects the Duration of Spousal Maintenance?

Duration of marriage is often the primary factor regarding how long spousal support can last. Taking into consideration the stipulations above, Illinois’ spousal maintenance payments use a formula that takes the duration of the marriage and a percentage to determine how much is owed. The payment percentage only rises once a marriage has lasted five or more years.

When Does Spousal Maintenance End in Illinois?

Spousal maintenance is not always a given and, even when awarded, can be terminated depending on certain factors:

  • Cohabitation with a new romantic partner
  • Getting married to a new spouse
  • Court-ordered end date
  • Death

Unforeseen circumstances can also require modifying or terminating spousal maintenance if the court deems it so. A court will look into the change and determine whether or not maintenance should continue.

Contact a Kane County, IL Divorce Attorney

Anyone with questions about spousal maintenance should consult an experienced North Aurora, IL alimony lawyer. The The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. is ready with answers to your legal queries. Contact the office at 630-409-8184 to start your consultation immediately.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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