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Cook County Spousal Support Lawyer Serving Chicago

The financial impacts of a divorce can be among the biggest challenges that you face as you look to start a new post-marriage life. The resources available when you were a married couple are going away, leaving you with an uncertain financial future. The team at NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq., can help bring some stability to your situation by helping you determine if your case will involve spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Whether you will receive the payments or provide payments to your ex-spouse, the firm’s attorneys can ensure that the outcome is fair for you and your future.

Factors Used To Determine If Maintenance Or Alimony Is Required

During a divorce process, the court will determine whether spousal maintenance or alimony payments are warranted. The payments ensure that both spouses can meet their financial needs after the divorce is finalized. These payments can be ordered in addition to child support payments, which are directed specifically toward the costs of raising the children of the marriage. Spousal support payments can be made in cases when the couple has no children, or the children are grown. However, maintenance payments are not required in every divorce. The factors that the court will use to determine if spousal maintenance payments are warranted include:

  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Each spouse’s income, education, and earning capacity. If one spouse makes more money, they may be required to make maintenance payments. The court can also consider whether one spouse put their career on hold to support the other during their education or stayed at home to take care of their children.
  • Each spouse’s assets and financial obligations. The division of marital property during the divorce process can impact this factor.
  • The standard of living that the spouses are accustomed to during the marriage and how the divorce will impact it.
  • Whether the post-divorce parenting time and parental responsibilities will impact one spouse’s ability to maintain employment.
  • Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement between the spouses.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance In Illinois

If the court awards spousal maintenance, then a formula is used to calculate the amount of the payments and for how long they will last.

This formula subtracts 25 percent of the receiving spouse’s net annual income from 33.3 percent of the net yearly income of the paying spouse. The total of the receiving spouse’s income plus the spousal maintenance payments cannot be greater than 40 percent of the combined annual net income of the two spouses.

The length of the payments is determined on a sliding scale based on the length of the marriage.

  • Under five years of marriage – payments will last for 20 percent of the length of the marriage
  • Marriage of five to six years – payments will last for 24 percent of the length of the marriage
  • Marriage of six to seven years – payments will last for 28 percent of the length of the marriage

This 4 percent increase continues up to 80 percent for marriages that lasted 19 years. For marriages of 20 years or longer, the court may order maintenance payments for a period equal to the total length of the marriage or for an indefinite term.

Payments will be terminated if the spouse receiving the payments remarries or moves in with another partner. The court can modify the calculated amount based on other factors, including any agreement the two spouses reach on their own, the ability of the paying spouse to make the payments, and spouses who have a combined income of more than $500,000 annually. A modification request can also change payments from one or both spouses.

Cook County Divorce Attorney For Maintenance And Alimony

The attorneys at NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq., will provide you with the legal representation that you need in any case involving spousal maintenance or alimony. Whether you are seeking to receive maintenance payments or are being asked to contribute to your ex-spouse after a divorce, a lawyer at NextLevel Law, P.C., can be your advocate. The attorneys at the firm are happy to serve clients in English or Spanish. The firm always offers affordable, fixed fees in order to serve clients throughout Cook County. Call the team at 312-530-8002 or contact the firm online.