Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

Spousal maintenance (previously known as alimony) is an important tool to ensure some level of financial equity after divorce. It also reflects the idea that even if one spouse did not earn an equal income or any income at all, she or he may have contributed to the family in other substantial ways and should be awarded support to ultimately become independent and self-sufficient.

What You Should Know

Here in Illinois, spousal maintenance is one of the most flexible and customizable aspects of family law. Here are some important details to know about spousal maintenance:

  • There is no set formula for absolutely determining the amount of maintenance to be paid, although new maintenance guidelines are in place which the Court may use as a starting point for determining maintenance.
  • Judges have wide discretion in determining whether maintenance should be paid and in what amount.
  • Once maintenance is awarded, if the maintenance is modifiable, either spouse can request a change in payments or termination of payments if there has been a significant change in circumstances.
  • Depending on the Judge's order or by agreement between spouses, maintenance can be paid in installments or in one lump sum.
  • Duration of maintenance may be fixed (a certain number of years, for instance) or indefinite (permanent). The same new maintenance guidelines discussed above for determining the amount of maintenance also sets forth guidelines for the duration of maintenance.
  • There are no gender considerations: Men and women could be payors or payees of maintenance.
  • The spouse paying maintenance may be required to obtain a life insurance policy and name the other spouse as the beneficiary to secure the maintenance payment.

How Our Firm Can Help

Whether you are seeking to receive spousal maintenance or seeking to avoid paying maintenance, you need a skilled lawyer on your side. Attorney Mike Gauthier has been practicing family law in Illinois for more than a decade, and he works with you to present a strong and compelling argument to the Judge overseeing your case.

Contact An Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

With an office in Vernon Hills, Gauthier Family Law offers free initial consultations to prospective clients in Lake County, McHenry County and surrounding areas. To discuss your family law needs with us, call 847-816-7781. You can also reach us through our online contact form.