How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Illinois?
Spousal 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.