St. Charles, IL spousal support lawyerIt is a myth that spousal support is a form of revenge. It is not about one spouse penalizing the other for past mistakes such as infidelity. Instead, it is determined by a couple's financial situation and needs. This holds significant weight, especially for women facing a midlife divorce. Research reveals that women are more likely to live below the federal poverty line compared to men. The harsh reality is that women still often earn less than men, and this earnings gap often widens as they age. You need a skilled Illinois divorce attorney to advocate for your long-term needs and ensure that spousal support is handled fairly in your divorce.

What Should Be Considered When Asking for Spousal Support?

Recent trends reveal a rising number of men and women in long-term marriages choosing to call it quits. Unfortunately, the financial repercussions tend to hit women the hardest, often resulting in a 45 percent decrease in their standard of living.

It is important to reach out to a skilled divorce attorney if you are seeking guidance on spousal maintenance and how it can help you maintain your current lifestyle. You should consider the division of marital assets, which can include pension plans and stock options. Couples should also address the allocation of marital debt and establish arrangements for child support. Your financial future is at stake, so it is crucial to navigate these matters wisely.

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?

When going through a divorce, safeguarding your assets and minimizing risks is crucial. Under Illinois law, there is a formula to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance once a judge determines that a spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance.

Keep in mind that the length of support awarded depends on the duration of the marriage, with the court possibly granting permanent maintenance for marriages lasting 20 years or more. The spousal maintenance amount is calculated as 30 percent of the payor's gross income minus 20 percent of the payee's gross income.


IL divorce lawyerNobody gets married in Illinois anticipating an eventual divorce, but the unfortunate reality is that couples must sometimes end unhealthy or unhappy relationships. Divorce requires many complex issues to be resolved, and one of the most difficult among these is the issue of spousal maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony). When a spouse or a couple has a high net worth, spousal support means a lot of money could be at stake for both parties. Understanding how spousal support works in Illinois is essential for ensuring your divorce is handled fairly.

Why Is Spousal Support Necessary?

Regardless of which spouse makes more money, married couples share their standard of living. Divorce can cause serious financial hardships for a spouse who earns less than their partner or who has left the workforce to be a homemaker; Illinois law provides spousal support in certain circumstances to mitigate the financial difficulty of divorce. Spousal support is intended to help a previously dependent spouse get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.

How Is Spousal Support Calculated?

Illinois has a specific formula that is used as a guideline for determining spousal support payments. Generally, payments are determined by subtracting 20% of the receiving party’s income from 30% of the paying party’s income. So if one spouse makes $5,000 a month and the other spouse makes $2,000, monthly payments would be around $1,000. This formula applies to spouses with a combined gross annual income of less than $500,000.

However, for spouses who make more than that, spousal support calculations are excluded from the formula. If couples cannot agree on support payments, the amount is left to the discretion of a judge. This can be unpredictable and result in very high or very low payments that one or both spouses are dissatisfied with. To avoid an unpleasant surprise, most high-net-worth couples will try to reach a compromise outside of court with the help of their attorneys.

Meet with a Kane County Spousal Support Lawyer

Getting divorced is complicated, but it is much easier when you have the support of a St. Charles, IL spousal support attorney who understands the ins and outs of Illinois divorce law. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we work hard to provide our clients with the information and representation they need to succeed after divorce. Whether you anticipate paying or receiving spousal support, we can help. Call our office at 630-584-5550 to schedule your free consultation today.


IL divorce lawyerSpousal support is often a contentious issue in an Illinois divorce, but it is of crucial importance to the receiving spouse. Often, one spouse will have sacrificed their career options for many years in order to do the majority of the child care and housekeeping. Even if there are no children involved, the income disparity between spouses can be so extreme that the quality of life a couple has built together is entirely compromised by the divorce. In cases like this, judges are likely to award spousal support payments (previously called “alimony”) to one spouse.

Which Factors Determine Whether Someone Must Pay Spousal Support?

Illinois courts consider many factors when making decisions regarding spousal support payments. The goal is never to punish one spouse and reward the other, but rather to attempt an equitable arrangement at the end of a marriage. The court may consider, but is not limited to, the following factors:

  • Any existing valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
  • The current income of both spouses, as well as their likely future income
  • Any factors which may impact employability, such as a disability
  • The educational attainment of both spouses, as well as their potential to obtain future education or training
  • The contributions each spouse made to the marital estate
  • The quality of life the couple enjoyed while together

How Long Do Spousal Support Payments Last?

Spousal support is generally intended to be rehabilitative, meaning that the payments are ordered to last as long as the recipient needs to become financially independent. In situations like these, the payments will end as soon as the court order expires. However, in situations where a couple was married for twenty years or more, a judge may award spousal support payments for as long as the marriage lasted.

Other factors affecting the length of spousal support payments are remarriage or cohabitation on the part of the receiving spouse or a change in circumstances on the part of the paying spouse. In each case, it is the responsibility of the paying spouse to petition the court for a change in support payments.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Spousal Support Attorney

The attorneys with Shaw Sanders, P.C. recognize that spousal support is often crucial for spouses who may have given up personal career ambitions in order to support their family at home. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure you get the spousal support to which you are entitled. Contact a Kane County spousal support attorney with Shaw Sanders, P.C. Call us today at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.


IL divorce lawyerIn many Illinois divorce cases, one spouse has significantly greater income and assets than the other. This can make it difficult to reach a fair resolution through the division of property alone, especially if it will be challenging for the other spouse to support themself for quite some time. In these cases, the court will often award spousal maintenance, commonly known as alimony or spousal support. However, maintenance orders come in several different forms, and you should be sure to understand the type of maintenance order, if any, that is likely to apply to your case.

How Do Illinois Courts Award Spousal Support?

If you and your spouse reach an agreement regarding maintenance, or if the court decides that maintenance is necessary, payments may be structured in a variety of ways. These are the most common types of maintenance orders that you should be aware of:

  • Temporary maintenance is sometimes ordered before the divorce is finalized to support a spouse in need throughout the divorce process. The appropriate amount is determined on a case-by-case basis using information from a financial affidavit filed by the spouse seeking maintenance. Any spousal maintenance included in the final divorce resolution will be determined separately.
  • Fixed-term maintenance requires one spouse to make regular payments to the other for a defined time period, usually based on a calculation that factors in the length of the marriage. The amount is typically determined based on each spouse’s income.
  • Lump-sum maintenance is sometimes awarded as an alternative to fixed-term maintenance. Rather than spreading out the payments over time, one spouse will pay the other the entire amount upfront. This is usually only possible when the paying spouse has substantial resources available.
  • Reviewable maintenance is similar to fixed-term maintenance, except that the court will designate a date upon which the order will be reviewed to determine whether it should continue or be modified or terminated, perhaps contingent on the receiving spouse’s attempts to become self-sufficient.
  • Indefinite maintenance requires regular, ongoing payments with no end date. It is typically only granted when the spouses were married for 20 years or longer, or when the receiving spouse has extraordinary needs.

You should note that fixed-term, reviewable, and indefinite maintenance orders can be modified after a substantial change in either spouse’s circumstances. Additionally, a maintenance order will terminate if either spouse dies, or if the receiving spouse remarries or moves in with a new partner.

Contact a Kane County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we can help you understand whether spousal support is a likely factor in your divorce case, and we will advise you regarding a reasonable payment structure to pursue. Contact us at 630-584-5550 to schedule a free consultation with one of our St. Charles, IL divorce attorneys.



IL divorce lawyerDivorce can bring about complicated financial questions. One issue that many divorcing individuals have questions about is alimony. Alimony or spousal support is referred to as spousal maintenance in Illinois law. Often, spousal maintenance is used to help a spouse who is financially dependent on the other spouse transition into being financially self-supporting after a divorce. In some situations, spousal maintenance is permanent. If you earn a higher income than your spouse or your spouse does not work outside the home, it is possible that you will be required to pay maintenance.

When is Spousal Maintenance Awarded in Illinois?

If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement that requires you to pay spousal maintenance following divorce, the court will most likely uphold this requirement. However, if there are issues that invalidate the prenuptial agreement, the maintenance agreement may not be legally binding. If you have not agreed to pay maintenance through a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement, the court has discretion when it comes to ordering maintenance. If your spouse files a petition for spousal maintenance, the court will consider a range of factors to determine if maintenance is appropriate. The court will look at:

  • The income, assets, expenses, employability, and future earning capacity of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s financial needs
  • The duration of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage
  • Any damage to the future earning capacity of the spouse seeking alimony caused by domestic or childcare duties
  • Contributions that a spouse made to the progression of the other spouse’s career or education
  • Whether the spouse requesting alimony can become self-supporting
  • The spouses’ age and health

Fighting a Request for Alimony

You are not required to pay alimony simply because you earn a higher income than your spouse. However, it is possible that your spouse will present a good argument for receiving maintenance to the court. Some spouses even exaggerate or outright lie when making a spousal maintenance request. If you suspect that your spouse will petition the court for spousal maintenance during your divorce, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who is familiar with Illinois spousal maintenance laws. Your attorney will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not forced to pay an unjustified amount of alimony.

Contact a St. Charles Alimony Lawyer

Alimony or spousal maintenance is typically awarded when a spouse is unable to support themselves financially after a divorce. For help with a range of spousal maintenance concerns, contact an Illinois divorce attorney at Shaw Sanders, P.C. Call our office at 630-584-5550 to set up a free consultation today.



Recent Blog Posts



Contact Us

How Can We Help?

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.