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


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

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When Do Spousal Maintenance Payments End in Illinois?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Batavia divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In many marriages, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have a higher income than the other spouse. In these situations, the lesser-earning spouse relies on the higher-earning spouse to facilitate and maintain the way of life they are used to. In some cases, the lesser-earning spouse may not even be employed and may have been a homemaker and contributed to the household that way. When couples who have a significant imbalance in income get a divorce, the lesser-earning spouse is often awarded spousal support in Illinois, which is also known as spousal maintenance or alimony.

Receiving Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is never guaranteed in any divorce. However, some people are still required to pay spousal support because of a previously entered marital agreement. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court will examine these documents to ensure that they are valid. If they are found to be valid, you will have to abide by the terms of the agreement you agreed to prior. If your agreement is deemed invalid or you did not have an agreement, the court will determine whether or not spousal maintenance is appropriate by looking at a variety of factors. These elements can include things such as you and your spouse’s age, health, occupation, education, work history, contribution to the marriage, and more.

Ending Maintenance Payments

The point behind spousal maintenance is to financially support the lesser-earning spouse while he or she works toward being financially independent. There are a couple of different ways that spousal maintenance payments could end. When spousal support orders are entered, the duration of your payments is calculated, in addition to the amount of your monthly payment. The length of your spousal support payments is closely related to the length of your marriage. However, if your marriage lasted 20 or more years, the court will order maintenance to be either equal to the duration of your marriage or indefinite.

Illinois law also provides for other ways to terminate spousal support payments before the determined end date. If the receiving spouse gets remarried or begins to cohabitate with a new romantic partner, you can petition to have the spousal support order terminated. You can also petition the court to modify or terminate the order altogether if there has been a significant change in circumstances that would no longer make sense to keep the original spousal maintenance payments.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney for Help

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, used to be a very gendered issue, as the vast majority of spouses who were considered to be the lesser-earning spouse were women who either had lower-paying jobs or whose primary job was to take care of the children and the home. Now, spousal maintenance is used as a rehabilitative tool in specific circumstances where the individual shows a need for it. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., our Kane County divorce lawyers will help protect your spousal maintenance rights throughout the divorce process and any other issues you need addressing. To schedule a private consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




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


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

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