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



If My Spouse Does Not Work, Will I Have to Pay Alimony in Our Divorce?

 Posted on January 20, 2023 in Divorce

Hillside Divorce AttorneyIf you and your spouse have decided to split up and get a divorce, both of you will need to address numerous financial issues related to the ending of your marriage. Many of these issues  have to do with the division of marital property, and determining how to fairly and equitably divide the assets you both own can often be a complicated process. However, it is also important to ensure that both of you will have the financial resources that will allow you to meet your needs going forward, and so issues related to the income that each of you earns may need to be addressed. If your spouse is not currently working, they may request that you provide them with ongoing support payments. By understanding the laws that affect alimony (also known as spousal maintenance, or spousal support), you can work to find solutions that will protect your financial interests.

Spousal Support Laws in Illinois 

In Illinois, spousal maintenance is governed by Section 504 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The IMDMA states that either spouse can request maintenance from the other spouse during a divorce. When determining whether spousal support will be appropriate, a family court judge will consider such factors as each party’s current income and earning capacity, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of each party, the level of education attained by each party during the marriage, and the duration of the marriage. Other significant factors include contributions made by the spouse who is seeking support to the other spouse's career, as well as the amount of time the spouse seeking support will need to be able to support themselves.

The ultimate purpose of spousal maintenance is to help ensure that both spouses can maintain the standard of living that they had during their marriage. A spouse who is not currently working may request support from the other spouse to ensure that they can address their ongoing needs.

Addressing Spousal Support When a Spouse Is Voluntarily Unemployed or Underemployed

Just because your spouse does not work, this does not necessarily mean that you will be required to pay spousal maintenance. Each case is unique and must be analyzed based on its  specific facts. However, if your spouse has been out of work for a significant amount of time before your divorce case began, then the judge in your case may consider this factor when deciding whether spousal maintenance should be granted. For example, if your spouse has been a stay-at-home parent who has remained at home to care for the children, then you may be required to pay spousal support to ensure that your ex-spouse can continue in this role. 

A family court judge will usually be looking to ensure that both parties will be able to support themselves into the future. As a result, if necessary, spousal support may be awarded on a temporary basis, such as to allow your spouse to pursue an education and seek gainful employment. Also, in some situations, maintenance may be reviewable, meaning that after a certain amount of time, the court will review the circumstances of both parties to determine whether payments should continue, whether the amount paid should be adjusted, or whether support should be terminated. In addition, when calculating the amount of support that will be paid, the court may consider a spouse's "imputed" income,  meaning the income they should be able to earn based on their education, work experience, and job skills.

Contact Our Hillside Spousal Maintenance Attorney

Divorce can be stressful and difficult, but by understanding the laws that will affect your case, you can determine the best ways for you and your spouse to move forward into separate lives.  The subject of spousal support will be evaluated based on the unique circumstances of both parties. Even if your spouse does not work now, this does not mean that you will automatically be required to pay alimony. To determine how the law may apply in your situation, it is important to discuss your particular case with an experienced Oak Park spousal support lawyer, who can advise you about all of the legal options. At Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we can help you determine the best ways to address all of the financial issues in your divorce, and we will advocate for your interests throughout the legal process. Call our office at 708-449-7404 to arrange a free consultation.



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