Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a payment made to an ex-spouse after a divorce. These payments are generally made when one spouse is unable to earn as much money as the other after the divorce specifically because of choices made during the marriage – such as a parent who stayed at home with the children instead of building their resume during the marriage. Chicago maintenance lawyers help clients negotiate the spousal support during a divorce to ensure that the amount and duration of support are good for both parties.
When Is Spousal Support Appropriate? Chicago Maintenance Lawyers Weigh In
Determining if alimony is necessary or appropriate is the first step to negotiating this payment. Here are some things that Chicago maintenance lawyers will take into consideration:
- The existence of a pre-nup will define the spousal support arrangement.
- If no pre-nup exists, the length of the marriage, the difference between incomes, and the reason for that income disparity will be considered.
Without the help of an experienced lawyer, it can be hard for either party to properly negotiate this amount in the event that no pre-nup exists.
Negotiating the Amount and Duration
If it is determined that alimony is appropriate based on the income disparity and reason for that disparity, it’s time to negotiate how much money will be paid, and for how long. In most cases, these are negotiated in private, not set by the court – however, Illinois state law does provide some basic guidelines for base amounts if your income together is less than $250,000 per year.
Alimony payments can be permanent in the event that the marriage lasted for most of the adult lives of the parties, and the supported party can’t be expected to find reasonable work due to the circumstances. For example, if an elderly couple divorces after the wife spent decades out of the work force to raise children, alimony could last until either party’s natural death. However, most alimony payments are negotiated to end in a specific number of years, or until the supported party remarries.
The other party may also negotiate the end of alimony if the supported party receives a significant raise or changes their circumstances through new education, for example. Negotiating this issue takes an experienced eye on all the issues that are at play. If you want to learn more, or you want a pro on your side, call Divorce Lawyers Chicago at 312-621-5234.