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spousal support during divorce

The Role of Alimony and Spousal Support in Chicago Divorce Cases

One of the most important and often contentious issues in divorce is alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance. Alimony entails the ongoing financial payment from one spouse to another following the finalization of a divorce. 

In the city of Chicago, alimony is established based on a variety of factors and can significantly impact the outcome of divorce proceedings. 

Here are some important things to know about alimony and spousal support in Chicago divorce cases.

What is Alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a form of financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other after a divorce has been finalized. Its purpose is to help the receiving spouse maintain a similar standard of living enjoyed during the course of the marriage. 

Unlike child support, which often follows a specific formula, the calculation of alimony in Chicago is not predetermined. Instead, it takes into account a range of factors, such as the duration of the marriage, the income and future earning potential of each spouse, and their individual contributions to the relationship. 

Types of Alimony

In Illinois, there are three types of alimony: temporary, rehabilitative, and permanent. Temporary alimony, also known as pendente lite alimony, is paid for a specific period of time to help the receiving spouse get back on their feet after the divorce. It serves as a temporary financial support system to address immediate needs such as housing, living expenses, and legal fees. 

Rehabilitative alimony, on the other hand, is designed to support the receiving spouse while they undergo education or training that will enable them to gain the necessary skills and qualifications to become self-sufficient. This type of alimony recognizes the importance of providing the means for the receiving spouse to transition into a financially independent life. It may cover expenses such as tuition fees, vocational training, or professional development programs.

Permanent alimony, as the name suggests, is awarded in cases where one spouse is unable to support themselves due to age, disability, or other factors that limit their ability to earn an income. It provides ongoing financial assistance to ensure the well-being and stability of the receiving spouse. The determination of permanent alimony takes into account factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the financial needs and resources of both spouses.

Factors Considered in Alimony

When determining alimony in Chicago divorce cases, the court will consider a variety of factors. These include:

Length of the marriage

Longer marriages may result in higher alimony payments.

Age and health of each spouse

If one spouse has health issues or is nearing retirement age, they may receive more alimony.

Income and earning potential

The court will consider each spouse’s income and their ability to earn in the future when determining alimony.

Contributions to the marriage

This includes both financial contributions and non-financial contributions, such as caregiving or supporting a spouse’s career.

Modifications to Alimony

Alimony can be modified or terminated in certain circumstances. If there is a significant change in either spouse’s financial situation, such as job loss or a substantial increase in income, the court may consider modifying the alimony amount to ensure fairness and adequacy. Additionally, alimony can also be terminated if the receiving spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a new partner, as these changes in marital status may impact the need for ongoing financial support.

The Role of a Financial Advisor

It is crucial to seek assistance from a financial advisor throughout this process. An experienced  financial advisor can offer invaluable guidance, ensuring the protection of your financial future during and after divorce proceedings.

Work with us

Come out on the other side with your financial stability intact. If you have more questions about alimony, our team is here to help you every step of the way.  At Purposeful Wealth Advisors, we work closely with divorce attorneys, accountants, and other dedicated professionals to arrive at comprehensive solutions for our clients. 

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