Are You Guaranteed Alimony after Divorce in Illinois?
Among the many questions divorcing spouses have following a separation, questions regarding alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, tend to be a big concern. This is particularly true for stay-at-home parents or spouses who are not the main earners in the household. Taking on greater financial responsibility - or in some cases, any financial responsibility at all - can be a scary thing, especially when one spouse has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and is suddenly thrust into a new routine.
Alimony’s Nationwide Evolution
As societal roles and career opportunities have changed for both men and women in recent decades, so have the expectations and allowances surrounding spousal maintenance. More women are working now more than ever, and the concept of stay-at-home fathers is far from new. According to Labor Department statistics, nearly three-quarters of women work. In the year 2010, 97 percent of the 400,000 people receiving alimony were women, and that trend has been a continual one.
These statistics have revealed an important fact about alimony and its place in today’s post-divorce world: It seems the majority of alimony recipients continue to be women, but most of those women are actively involved in the workforce during the time of the marriage or become employed following the divorce. As a result, states all throughout the country have been taking these factors into consideration when determining maintenance awards in court rulings.
Is Spousal Maintenance a Sure Thing?
In general, the answer to this question is no, and here is why: The state takes a number of factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to award alimony. When touching on the subject of entitlement to maintenance, The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that it is up to the court to determine whether alimony should be awarded or not following the consideration of all factors they deem relevant. These factors can include everything from the needs of each party, the present and future earning capacity of each party, and the standard of living that was established during the marriage.
When it comes to the law, alimony rulings always come down to your specific circumstances; not every case is black and white, which is why you cannot automatically expect to receive spousal maintenance upon divorce. Many judges today recognize that women have just as many opportunities to work and make a living as men do and that many existing familial conventions no longer apply to households today.
Contact Our Experienced Spousal Maintenance Attorneys
Whatever your situation, if you are hoping for an alimony award or have concerns over your eligibility, you need to speak with a qualified Kane County spousal maintenance attorney today. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.