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Spousal Support in Illinois? Who gets it and why!

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Many of my clients want to know if they can get spousal support or what was formerly called alimony. Others are afraid that their entire paychecks will be swallowed up in spousal support and they will end up living in a cardboard box!

There is a new statute in Illinois which establishes what spousal support you can get based on percentages and what you might have to pay.

But how do you know if you or your spouse qualifies? Here are a few prime considerations.

1. The Court will look at both of your incomes and how much property you will end up with as result of the divorce or what you have that is non-marital such as an inheritance or a gift.

2. What is your spouse realistically able to pay you? What does he or she have left in income after child support or some other debt they have been told they have to pay such as contribution to the ongoing college or vocational school expenses of your children?

3. What are you earning now and what can you realistically expect to earn in the future?  

What if you were a former model in your 50s with no other skills and yet your husband argues you could easily go back to that line of work and earn what you were making in your twenties and early thirties? 

What if you both had agreed that you should stay at home and raise the children. Once they got older, you reentered the work force but could only find work as a receptionist and are making a fraction of what your husband makes. You hope to go back to school to become a nurse’s aid but you will need to get training for that field and you will never make even close to what he makes.

These are just a things the court will consider in ordering spousal support or alimony. The goal should always be that both parties are able to live in a reasonable manner after the dissolution of their marriage.

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