Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



Can Spousal Support Be Permanently Payable After an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on February 23, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageGetting a divorce can not only be difficult from an emotional standpoint, but it can also involve multiple financial issues. Among the many subjects that may arise, spousal support— also referred to as alimony or maintenance—may be a crucial aspect of post-divorce financial stability for both spouses. For those who are getting divorced in Illinois, understanding the nuances of the subject of spousal support is vital. In cases where spousal maintenance may be awarded by the court, spouses may be unsure whether this support will be paid on a temporary or permanent basis. An experienced family law attorney can help ensure that all issues related to spousal support will be dealt with correctly, while also addressing any other divorce-related concerns.

Understanding Spousal Support in Illinois

Spousal maintenance is designed to mitigate the economic impact of a divorce by providing financial assistance to a spouse who earns less, or who might not be financially self-sufficient after the end of their marriage. Spousal support is not ever automatically granted. Eligibility for maintenance will be determined based on a careful review of all of the circumstances relevant to each case.

In Illinois, the determination of spousal support is based on several specific statutory factors that include, but are not limited to, the income and property of each spouse, the needs of each party, the present and future earning capacity of each spouse, and the duration of the marriage. An evaluation of these multiple factors ensures that the support awarded is fair, and accurately reflects the couple’s financial reality.

Is Permanent Spousal Support a Possibility?

The answer to the question of whether spousal support will be permanent hinges on several factors, primarily the length of the marriage and the specific circumstances of the spouse who will receive support payments. In most cases, spousal support will be ordered for a specific period of time, and it will end once this period is over. This period of time is calculated using a set, statutory formula which is based on a percentage of the number of years the couple was married. The percentages used increase for longer marriages. For example, if a couple was married for more than 12 years but less than 13 years, spousal maintenance will be payable for 52 percent of the length of their marriage.

However, there are some situations where spousal maintenance could be ordered to be paid for an indefinite period. In long-term marriages, lasting 20 years or more, spousal support can be ordered for a time period equal to 100 percent of the length of the marriage, or it may even be ordered to be paid indefinitely, with no ending date. Permanent spousal maintenance may also be appropriate if there are factors that limit the receiving spouse’s career prospects, and/or their ability to support themselves, such as permanent disabilities.

It is also important to understand that so-called "permanent" spousal support is not necessarily forever unchangeable. Spousal maintenance awards are always subject to modification if one or both parties experience a significant change in circumstances. A spouse’s retirement, the loss of employment, or other changes in a party’s financial situation are examples of reasons to modify or terminate support obligations. Maintenance will also be terminated if the recipient spouse remarries, or if either party dies.

Contact Our Hillside Spousal Support Attorney

If spousal support may be a possibility in your divorce, it is crucial to have an experienced family law attorney on your side to make sure this subject will be dealt with correctly. At Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., our Oak Park spousal maintenance lawyer can help protect your financial interests during your divorce, ensuring that you will have adequate resources to support yourself in the years after the divorce. Contact us at 708-449-7404 for a free consultation.

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