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


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How can Infidelity Affect Your Alimony in a Divorce?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Spousal Maintenance

How can Infidelity Affect Your Alimony in a Divorce?, alimony, spousal support, divorce, adultery, law officeAfter a divorce, many people find out that there are certain evaluations about what they have contributed to the marriage financially that must be made. There can be circumstances where both the husband and wife work outside the home and share equal earning power. Another common scenario is where one party to the divorce primarily contributes time and energy to the development of the family and home while the other works outside of the home to primarily provide financial stability.

Alimony, which in Illinois is called maintenance, is the money that one spouse pays the other to ensure that both parties are situated in a financially equitable position after the divorce. The idea behind alimony is ensuring that one spouse is not unjustly enriched at the expense of the other spouse.

When Is Alimony Ordered in the Divorce Process?  

Illinois law dictates that a judge can order either party to pay alimony or maintenance while the divorce is proceeding. However, an order for alimony can also be entered in the final order or during an appeal that’s filed after the divorce has concluded.

Are There Different Kinds of Alimony?

Yes, there are generally four types of alimony that one can be ordered to pay in Illinois:

  • Temporary alimony, which is ordered for a determined period of time
  • Permanent alimony, which is paid for the rest of a spouse's lifetime, unless a major event intervenes
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which is a kind of temporary alimony. It is paid for a determined period of time. However, the goal for this kind of alimony is to allow one spouse to get themselves to a position where they can be financially independent.
  • Reviewable Alimony, which is a kind of alimony that is ordered but left open to interpretation and modification at a later date when the court comes back to see if the alimony ordered is accomplishing the goals it was supposed to.

Can Adultery Affect My Divorce?

Under Illinois Law adultery is legally recognized grounds for a divorce. However, judges may not consider adultery at all when they are calculating the amount of alimony one spouse may have to pay. The law in Illinois mandates that a judge considers objective factors that include but are not limited to:

  • The income and property of each party
  • The financial needs of each party
  • The present and future earning capacity of each party

The judge weighs these factors to render a “just,” order for maintenance or alimony. Alimony in Illinois is not intended to be punitive; rather it is intended to take make the parties whole or to not unjustly enrich one spouse at the expense of another. While marital misconduct may be the type of variable that a judge considers in deciding whether or not to allow a couple to divorce, it ultimately will not, in most cases, be used as a punishment against a party guilty of adultery.

Fundamental Fairness

Illinois law views orders for alimony or spousal maintenance through the lens of equity. Illinois judges try and ensure that each spouse enjoys equitable economic stability at the conclusion of the divorce. If you are considering divorce it is important that you reach out to an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer. The Law Office Of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. is knowledgeable, compassionate, fair, but most importantly relentless in their pursuit of your interests and their defense of your rights. Contact our Aurora office at 630-409-8184 to schedule your initial consultation.


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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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