Spousal support, also called alimony or maintenance, may be awarded to either spouse in the event of a divorce. In Chicago, the courts do not consider marital misconduct, or fault when determining the amount of spousal support. There is not a standard guideline for spousal support as there is for child support; instead, the courts consider a variety of factors, such as:
- The income and property of both spouses, including the marital property awarded to either spouse. This also includes any non-marital property received by the requesting spouse.
- Each spouse’s financial needs are taken into consideration.
- The earning capacity, both present and future, of each party.
- Damages to the requesting spouse’s earning capacity due to childcare or other domestic duties. This includes decisions to give up training, education, career opportunities, or employment due to the marriage.
- The time that will be required for the requesting spouse to gain the training, education, and employment to be self-supporting. If children are involved, and the requesting spouse has sole or residential custody, the court may find that it is inappropriate for the spouse to work.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The standard of living that was existed in the marriage.
- The emotional and physical condition of both spouses, as well as their respective ages.
- The effects of taxes on each spouse’s financial circumstances due to property division.
- Whether the requesting spouse made substantial contributions to the other spouse’s education, training, business, or career.
- Any valid, proven agreement between the divorcing parties.
- Other considerations that the court deems fair and equitable.
If both spouses are capable of being self-supporting, spousal support may not be awarded to either party. Frequently the courts address the difference in earning capacity by awarding more of the tangible marital assets to the spouse with the lower earning capability.
There are several types of spousal support, which may be awarded for different periods of time. Rehabilitative support is relatively short term, meant to cover expenses while the requesting spouse gains the ability to be self-supporting. Longer-term support may be granted, and reviewed periodically, but the recipient is expected to make an effort to become self-supporting. In rare cases, the court may award permanent support if it is determined that the person will never be capable of becoming self-supporting.
To protect your financial rights, consult an expert divorce attorney with extensive experience in the area of spousal support. Call (847) 520-8100 today for assistance in protecting your financial security.