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

630-409-8184

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

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North Aurora spousal support attorney

Getting a divorce means a lot of changes will occur. One of the most noticeable is your change in income. Most married couples live and run their household off of two incomes. When you get divorced, you have to transition from sustaining a household under shared incomes to meeting your needs with your income alone. For spouses who have not worked during their marriage or who have recently entered the workforce, this can be problematic. People who make significantly less than their spouses may also be concerned about their ability to support themselves after divorce. In these cases, spousal maintenance may be awarded. But what happens when your situation does not fall under the normal guidelines for calculation?

Illinois Spousal Support Guidelines

There are a number of factors that can affect whether or not you receive a maintenance award. These factors can include the income of both you and your spouse, whether or not either of you were out of the workforce for a period of time, and each of your needs. If the court finds that an award is appropriate, and you and your spouse earn a combined income of less than $500,000, the court will follow normal guidelines. This means spousal maintenance will be calculated by taking 33.3 percent of the income of the paying spouse and subtracting 25 percent of the income of the receiving spouse. Maintenance will usually be paid monthly, but in some cases, it may be paid annually or in a lump sum at the time of divorce.

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DuPage County divorce decree attorneyMost people have heard of a divorce decree, but they may not know what it actually is. If you are going through a divorce, you probably know that getting your divorce decree is the last step in finalizing the process. There can be a lot of paperwork and forms involved in a divorce, but the divorce decree is perhaps the most important legal document of all. It is, therefore, best to have a skilled Illinois divorce lawyer guide you through the process to avoid any mistakes that could impact your future.

What Is a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is a legal document that formally declares and finalizes a divorce. The divorce decree contains information pertaining to the marital issues that have been decided on in the divorce. The contents of the divorce decree will vary depending on the couple, but most divorce decrees typically address the following topics:

DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorneyThe idea of planning for your divorce before you are even married can seem counterintuitive to many, unromantic to some, and just plain wrong to others. While nobody wants to admit it, the prospect of getting divorced is a very real one. Depending on the source, the divorce rate in the United States fluctuates between 40 and 50 percent. Although prenuptial agreements may still hold a negative stigma, they are becoming more popular than ever, for a couple of reasons. For one, the average age of marriage has increased dramatically from what it was just a couple of decades ago. People who are older tend to be more established and have more assets and property that they want to protect. If you are thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement, the following are a few ways it can benefit you and your spouse:

You Get to Choose How Your Property Is Divided

In a prenuptial agreement, you can spell out which specific property is given to whom in a divorce. This means you do not necessarily have to follow state laws on property division. Illinois divides marital property on an equitable basis, which does not necessarily mean equally. Judges use a specific list of factors to determine how property and debt are divided fairly. With a prenuptial agreement, you can divide your property as you see fit, and can also guarantee that certain assets, like family heirlooms or family pets, will stay with you.

You Can Protect Your Business

Another way prenuptial agreements can be beneficial is for protecting any businesses or professional practices that you own or may own in the future. If you state that your spouse has no right to any portion of your current or future business, then you maintain sole ownership, rather than having to split it. Under Illinois law, if you start a business while you are married, your spouse has a right to a portion of that business. Likewise, if you already have a business before you are married, your spouse is entitled to a portion of the profits or growth that accumulated during the marriage.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is always complicated, no matter how you look at it. There are many issues you must settle before you can finalize your divorce, one of those being the issue of alimony or spousal maintenance. In Illinois divorce cases, spousal maintenance is never guaranteed -- some people will ask for maintenance and not receive it, some will never even bring the issue up and some are actually awarded maintenance when they seek it. For some people, maintenance is a necessity to help them survive, at least for the first couple of months after the divorce. Illinois spousal maintenance laws changed starting January 1, 2019. These laws affect the way spousal maintenance is calculated, so it is important that you understand the changes if you have not yet finalized your divorce.

Old Maintenance Laws

Prior to 2019, spousal maintenance was calculated by taking 30 percent of the payer’s income and subtracting 20 percent of the receiver’s income. This was a valid calculation for any couple whose combined annual income was less than $500,000, though the total maintenance awarded was not able to be more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income when adding the payment to the receiver’s income.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are going through a divorce as a stay-at-home parent, you often have different things to worry about than if you were a working parent. Most of the time, stay-at-home parents sacrificed their careers or education to stay home and take care of the children. This can be problematic for them because stay-at-home parents typically rely on the income of their spouse to support the family. When you get a divorce, you find yourself being put into a situation where you must re-enter the workforce with little or outdated education and large gaps in your employment history. In these situations, spousal maintenance is used as a tool to keep you on your feet. Here are five steps you should take when you are a stay-at-home parent who is getting a divorce.

Gather All of Your Financial Documents

First things first -- you need to have all paperwork on your finances ready to present to a divorce lawyer. These documents can include:

  • Tax returns and W2’s from the previous three to five years;
  • Bank statements, including information on both checking and savings accounts;
  • Mortgage documents;
  • Vehicle titles;
  • Retirement account statements;
  • Credit card statements; and
  • Investment account statements.

Ensure You Have Access to Your Money

Some stay-at-home parents find that they do not have regular access to their family’s funds. If this is the case, you should make sure that you begin saving small amounts of money here and there to build up a reserve. One way around letting your spouse know you are saving money is by asking for cash back when you are at stores. If you have reason to believe your spouse might be hiding money from you, you should tell your lawyer who can help you discover it.

Remake Your Budget

Divorce is expensive -- it’s no secret. Going through a costly divorce and having to support yourself after years of staying at home can wreak havoc on your finances. Creating a balanced budget is one way you can help yourself be financially secure after your divorce. Try not to take into account any spousal maintenance payments or child support payments until those are final.

Start Looking for a Job

The truth of the matter is that even though you have been a stay-at-home parent for a length of time, you will more than likely have to return to the workforce after your divorce. You cannot expect to survive on spousal maintenance alone, which is not even guaranteed to you. Prepare yourself by looking for a job now and putting together an updated resume and list of references.

Hire a Compassionate DuPage County Divorce Attorney

One of the most important things you can do as a stay-at-home parent is hire a competent, yet compassionate Aurora, IL divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the troubles that a stay-at-home parent faces when getting a divorce. We can help you throughout the divorce process, from filing the initial paperwork to negotiating a spousal maintenance schedule. Contact our office today to set up a consultation by calling 630-409-8184.

  Sources:

https://divorceandyourmoney.com/blogs/stay-at-home-mom-divorce/

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,A “gray divorce” is a fairly new term that people have been using when referring to those who get divorced in late adulthood. A divorce is considered a gray divorce when the couple who is getting divorced is over the age of 50. According to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990 and for Americans over the age of 65, the divorce rate has tripled. Older Americans have seen an increase in divorce rates while younger Americans between the ages of 25 and 39 have actually seen a decrease in the divorce rate, by about 20 percent. Typically, couples getting a gray divorce have been married for decades, which is why they face a lot of negative stigmas and backlash from those surrounding them. They also face unique circumstances when it comes to divorce, which is why specific considerations should be made. You Will Probably Be Entitled to Spousal Support

It is extremely common for long-term marriages to involve some sort of spousal support. In Illinois, specific factors are used to determine whether or not spousal support is necessary in a divorce. These factors can include:

  • The income and property of each spouse;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage; and
  • The age, health, occupation, vocational skills and employability of each spouse.
A marriage that lasted less than 20 years will involve some sort of temporary maintenance based on those factors. If the marriage lasted longer than 20 years, the length of maintenance payments can be equal to the length of the marriage, or indefinitely. You Will Need to Seriously Think About Your Retirement Plans One of the major factors that need consideration when getting a divorce after the age of 50 is your retirement plans. Typically, when you are married, you make financial plans to retire using your income, which can be from one or both spouses. When you get divorced, your retirement funds are typically (but not always) split in half, which means you could be set back in your retirement goals. Do Not Forget About Your Children In a gray divorce, children are typically adults or teenagers. It is important to remember that it does not matter what age your children are - news of a divorce can be devastating to anyone. You should remember that even if your children are adults, they still need your love and support, especially during your divorce. Try to keep them as informed as possible as this can help everyone. A Compassionate DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Help Divorce is never easy, no matter your age, but it can be especially difficult when you have been married for decades. Every aspect of your life changes when you get a divorce, which is why it is important to have a knowledgeable and hard-working Aurora, IL divorce lawyer at your side. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, PC, we understand how hard a divorce can be and will work to help you every step of the way. Contact our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/divorce-after-50-5-things-to-consider-2388813

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alimonyUnlike child support, spousal support is not guaranteed in Illinois divorces. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have a child together, the spouse who has the child a majority of the time will receive child support payments, whereas it will be determined whether or not a maintenance award is even appropriate. Certain circumstances and factors are examined to make this determination, including the income of each spouse, any impairment of each spouse’s earning capacity, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living that was established during the marriage. Even if you are awarded a maintenance payment, the length of the award depends on a number of factors, as well. Length of Marriage Will Determine Length of Payments

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the length of time you were married will directly impact the length of time you are paid maintenance payments. The Act outlines specific multipliers to use with the length of marriage in years to find out the duration of your payments. Examples of the multiplying factors include:

  • Less than five years of marriage to seven years of marriage: .20-.32;
  • Eight years of marriage to 10 years of marriage: .36-.44;
  • Eleven years of marriage to 13 years of marriage: .48-.56;
  • Fourteen years of marriage to 16 years of marriage: .60-.68;
  • Seventeen years of marriage to 19 years of marriage: .72-.80; and
  • Twenty years or more of marriage: Equal to the length of the marriage or indefinitely.
For example, a person that was married to their spouse for 16 years will receive payments for 10.88 years. When a maintenance order is entered, there must be an extreme change in circumstances for the duration or amount of maintenance paid to be changed. An Aurora, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Can Help

Divorces can be stressful, especially if it is contested. Not all divorce cases will involve maintenance awards, but depending on your circumstances, you may be awarded spousal maintenance. The best way to make sure you are getting your fair share of marital property and spousal maintenance is by hiring an experienced DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have extensive knowledge of Illinois’ Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and the rules concerning spousal maintenance. Contact our office by calling 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation today.

 

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Posted on in Divorce
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,When you are going through a divorce, it can be a confusing process, especially because of all the words and legal terms that are used in divorce proceedings and paperwork. Understanding all of the legal jargon that is used during this process is crucial to you reaching a divorce settlement that you are satisfied with. Even some words that have normal meanings can have different meanings when used in a legal setting, which is why it is important that you educate yourself on specific words and phrases used in Illinois divorce proceedings. Marital Property: The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that marital property is all property, including debts, that is acquired by either spouse during the marriage.

Non-Marital Property: The Act also states that there are exceptions to marital property, which is called non-marital property. Examples of non-marital property include:

  • Property acquired by gift, legacy or descent;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage;
  • Anything acquired by either spouse after a legal separation; and
  • Property excluded in a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement.
Parenting Responsibilities: In Illinois, the term “custody” is no longer used. Instead, parenting responsibilities means both parenting time and important decision-making responsibilities when it comes to a child. Parenting Time: This refers to the time when a parent is responsible for taking care of the child and making non-significant decisions regarding the child.

Parenting Plan: This is a written agreement between parents that allocates and specifies certain things concerning their child. Things that can be covered in a parenting plan include:

  • Parenting time;
  • Decision-making responsibilities;
  • Living arrangements;
  • Schooling; and
  • Child support, if applicable.
Relocation: The term relocation is used when a parent moves a child from their current residence to a new residence. Spousal Maintenance: In Illinois, the term “alimony” has been replaced with spousal maintenance. This is the term used for any sort of payment that is paid from one spouse to another after a divorce depending on each spouse’s financial situation and needs. Get Representation from a Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be confusing, but it does not have to be. With the help of a well-versed Aurora divorce attorney, you can understand and be fully involved in your divorce. When you choose to be represented by an attorney from the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., you can rest easy knowing your divorce case is in good hands. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Even though the notion of planning for the end of your marriage before you are even married is not the most romantic thought, it is smart decision making. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that dictates how each spouse’s assets are divided if the marriage ends in divorce. There are quite a few things that a prenuptial agreement can--and should--contain. Premarital Assets and Debts You should make a list of your assets and debts that are currently in your name and that you acquired before your marriage. These assets can be anything from savings and brokerage accounts, a car, jewelry or a house. You and your spouse should be upfront with each other about assets that you are bringing into the marriage. You should also discuss how you will handle the division of premarital assets and debts in the event that they become intertwined with marital property. Marital Property In general, marital property is any asset or debt that is acquired during the marriage. The prenuptial agreement should spell out how you handle the assets and income that you gain during the marriage. You could possibly split marital property 50/50, or you could distribute the marital property as equitably as possible, meaning it may not be 50/50. This can save you a lot of time in the future if you do end up getting divorced. Spousal Support Though you are not required to have a section for spousal support in a prenuptial agreement, it can be extremely helpful to have your wishes down if you do get a divorce. Depending on you and your spouse’s assets, living expenses and other things, you may be entitled to spousal support. If your prenuptial agreement contains clauses about spousal support, the courts must follow the agreement’s terms. Get Support from an Aurora Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular and are losing the stigma that they once held. This is due partly because couples are tending to enter into marriage with a lot more assets than they did 40 years ago. If you are engaged and think a prenuptial agreement is right for you, a skilled DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorney can help you draft an agreement that fits your needs. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2012/march_2012/premarital_agreement_issues_checklist.html

If you are going through a divorce, you may wonder if you’re entitled to financial support from your spouse. Spousal maintenance is the term that the state of Illinois uses instead of alimony, though they are the same thing. In the past, courts viewed alimony as payments from the husband to continue his obligation to support his wife. Now, spousal maintenance is awarded to either spouse depending on a variety of factors.

Determining Factors for Spousal Maintenance Eligibility

When you seek maintenance from your spouse, the court will first determine whether or not you are eligible to receive these payments. In Illinois, eligibility determinations are based on these factors:

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Posted on in Debt
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce laws,Even if a person has spent hours considering their various options and weighing its impact on their future, the decision to divorce can still elicit heightened emotions of fear. Unfortunately, it happens that some spouses may attempt to influence how the other proceeds with the divorce by issuing threats that play upon those fears.

Responding to Threats

It is not unusual to want your divorce to end in a way that is mutually agreeable. It is even acceptable to think the final settlement should favor you if the marriage included some egregious acts by your spouse. However, when threats are issued it is important to respond in an appropriate and legally measured manner. Doing otherwise can result in negative repercussion and even severe sanctions. However, in most cases, the threats can be best categorized as empty bluster.
  • “You’ll never get a dime unless you do this my way.” This just is not true. Community property states lay out exactly how marital assets are divided. In other states, a judge has the final say.
  • “I’d rather go to jail than pay you a single dime.” If a spouse fails to live up to court-ordered support payments, you can take steps to garnish their wages. In most cases, when faced with going to jail for defying a court order, the offending party usually opts to pay voluntarily.
  • “I’d rather quit my job than make any payments to you.” This one can be a little more difficult to fight. Try to record this threat or get a witness. A judge can order them to continue making payments.
  • “I will reconcile with you if we put everything in my name.” This is less a threat and more an attempt to dupe you into signing away future claims to marital property. Never let anyone have full financial control over your life.

Rely on the Knowledge of an Experienced Aurora Divorce Attorney

The divorce process can be a very emotional experience, leaving some people feeling vulnerable and even frightened. Matters do not improve if one spouse attempts to take advantage of the situation by issuing threats. Working with an experienced Kendall County divorce lawyer can offer one great relief and support.

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When to Seek Alimony Modification, divorce, divorce modification, alimony modification, spousal support, alimonyLife is full of changes. New houses, new jobs, new children, new expenses and the list goes on. Even after a divorce is finalized changes occur for both former spouses, and those changes may allow one or the other to seek an alimony modification.

Yes, you read that right. An alimony modification may be made if either party experiences a change in circumstances that impact either the amount needed or amount available to be paid. A knowledgeable alimony modification attorney can help either the payor or payee seek the relief that allows each to continue managing their incomes and expenses.

Reasons to Seek an Alimony Modification

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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?  

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Posted on in Spousal Support

maintenance, Aurora divorce attorneyIn a recent post on this blog, we discussed the criteria used by Illinois courts to determine whether spousal maintenance was appropriate following a divorce. The law requires a court to look at various factors relevant to the marriage and each spouse’s financial situation to ensure that a need for spousal support actually exists. If maintenance is found to be appropriate, the court must then calculate how much is to be paid and for how long. Illinois law also provides guidance regarding these considerations as well.

Maintenance Amounts

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides a specific formula to be used in situations where the couple’s combined income is less than $250,000 per year and the paying party has no other obligations for maintenance or child support from a previous relationship. In such a case, the amount of support to be paid is found by taking 30 percent of the paying spouse’s gross income and subtracting 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s net income. The difference will be the amount expected to be paid unless that amount plus the recipient’s income equals more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income.

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maintenance, Aurora divorce attorneyIf nostalgic television programs are to be believed, the “model” American family looked very different several decades ago as compared to today. In many cases, one spouse—usually the husband—was the sole wage-earner while the other spouse—usually the wife—stayed home to manage the household and the children. While this scenario was not the reality in every family, it was common enough that if a marriage ended in divorce, most people presumed that the husband would be required to pay alimony to his wife so that she could continue meeting her day-to-day needs as well as those of the children.

Over the last few decades, there has been a dramatic shift in the family unit. Today, very few families can afford to survive on a single income, and the roles of each spouse may be defined to meet the particular family’s needs rather that adhering to strict social expectations. Such changes have also been reflected in Illinois laws regarding divorce, with a focus on making the process as equitable as possible. For this reason, alimony—also known as maintenance—is not guaranteed in a divorce proceeding, and will not be awarded unless the court determines that an actual need exists.

Factors to Consider

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new partner, DuPage County family law attorneyWhen you are required to pay alimony—also known as spousal maintenance under Illinois law—your payments are intended to help your former spouse alleviate some of the financial impact of the divorce. To a certain extent, maintenance is also used to help an economically disadvantaged spouse retain a semblance of the lifestyle the two of you enjoyed during your marriage. But, what happens when your spouse meets someone new? Could his or her new relationship affect your requirements for continuing spousal support payments?

An order for spousal maintenance is typically set for a specific number of months or years. Alternatively, the payments may be ordered to continue on a permanent basis. “Permanent,” however, only means that there is no date set on which the order will be terminated. It does mean that the payments will continue forever no matter what. There are certain factors or occurrences that could allow you to stop paying maintenance to your ex-spouse despite a permanent award.

Standard of Living

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maintenance, Aurora divorce lawyerIf you are considering divorce, you may already be aware that spousal maintenance, or alimony, is not a guaranteed right for either spouse. Based on the circumstances of your marriage—and especially if you earn significantly more than your spouse, and he or she has been financially dependent on you—you may expect to be ordered to pay spousal support. You may even be quite willing to make maintenance payments as, even though you no longer wish to remain married, you do not need to see your soon-to-be ex-spouse suffer, particularly if the two of you have children together. While you may be expecting to pay alimony, it is often helpful to get an idea of just how much those payments will be and for how long.

Payment Amounts

Assuming the court agrees that spousal maintenance is needed based on the consideration of a number of factors, the law provides a method for calculating spousal support payments. The most common way is through a statutory formula intended to be used in the vast majority of cases in which the couple’s combined income is less than $250,000, and the paying spouse is not supporting children from a previous relationship or another former spouse. In such a case, the amount to be paid is found by taking 30 percent of the payor’s gross income and subtracting 20 percent of the recipient’s gross income. The amount paid as maintenance plus the recipient’s income may not exceed 40 percent of the couple’s combined income.

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alimony, support, DuPage County family lawyerWith relatively significant changes regarding divorce and child custody going into effect this month, some of the smaller updates to the law may be going somewhat unnoticed. While some, such as new requirements for courts to enter the judgment within 60 days of the close of proofs, will have more of a procedural impact than substantive, others, such as those regarding spousal maintenance, can have an effect not only on the immediate order but on the potential for modification in the future.

Spousal Maintenance

In the state of Illinois, there is no presumed right to spousal maintenance in a divorce. Of course, a couple may negotiate a conscionable agreement regarding spousal support, and in such cases, the court will enter the agreement as an enforceable order. Absent an agreement, however, the court must examine the circumstances of the marriage and divorce in deciding whether or not such an award is appropriate. The court must take into account, among other factors:

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spousal maintenance, alimony, Illinois family lawyerA common question among those preparing for divorce involves the possibility of spousal maintenance. Previously known as alimony, spousal maintenance is intended to help alleviate the financial impact of a divorce to one spouse or the other. It is important to understand, however, that there is no presumed right to receive spousal support after a divorce. Instead, except for a valid agreement between the spouses, it is up to the court to determine if support is appropriate.

Statutory Considerations

To say that spousal maintenance is only appropriate for an economically disadvantaged spouse is an oversimplification. In reality, there are a number of factors the court must take into account when deciding whether or not to order an award, including, but not limited to:

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fixed-term maintenance, alimony, DuPage County family law attorneyWhen a divorce leaves one spouse economically disadvantaged, courts in Illinois are granted the discretion to award spousal maintenance, or alimony, for a period of time following the dissolution of marriage. The purpose of such an award is to provide an opportunity for the spouse receiving maintenance to regain financial independence, if possible, or, if not, to help maintain some semblance of the lifestyle to which he or she was accustomed during the marriage.

Making a Maintenance Determination

In deciding whether or not maintenance is needed or appropriate in a given situation, the court must look at a number of relevant factors regarding the marriage. According the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, these considerations include, but are not limited to:

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

630-409-8184

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

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