location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
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phone 312-884-1222

Chicago Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Park Ridge spousal maintenance attorney

Chicago Divorce Attorney for Spousal Support and Alimony in Cook County

The financial concerns of a divorce can be overwhelming as you prepare to support yourself on your own, without the contributions from your spouse that you may have grown accustomed to over the course of your marriage. A fair division of marital property can help to address your needs, but in some cases, it is not enough to provide you with the stable foundation you need to become self-sufficient. In these cases, you should consider pursuing spousal support.

At The Law Offices of George J. Skuros, we bring over 30 years of experience to our practice, and we will use our knowledge to help you assess your situation and determine whether spousal maintenance is warranted in your case. If spousal support is a possibility, whether you are the likely payer or recipient, we can work to ensure that your arrangement is fair to you.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support goes by many names, including alimony and spousal maintenance, but they all refer to the same thing: court-ordered payments made from one party to another after a divorce for the purpose of helping the receiving party provide for his or her financial needs. Unlike other aspects of the divorce process, like the division of property or the determination of child support in cases involving minor children, spousal support is not a required part of every divorce resolution. Rather, the court will determine whether maintenance is warranted after considering factors including:

  • The assets of each party, including those awarded in the distribution of property during the divorce process
  • The income, education, and earning potential of both parties, as well as the time a party would require to increase his or her earning potential
  • The age, health, and needs of both parties
  • The parties' accustomed standard of living during the marriage
  • Sacrifices made by either party to their own career in order to contribute to domestic duties or the career of the other party
  • Parental responsibilities, according to the parenting plan, that affect a party's ability to seek or maintain employment after the divorce

You and your spouse may also have some input into the decision to award spousal maintenance if you have addressed it in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or if you have reached an agreement through negotiations during an uncontested divorce process.

How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Chicago?

If the court decides to award spousal maintenance, the next step is to determine the amount and duration of payments. The amount will typically be calculated by subtracting 25 percent of the receiving spouse's annual net income from 33â…“ percent of the paying spouse's annual net income. The calculation of the duration of payments is slightly more complicated, as it considers the length of time that you and your spouse were married. For example, the usual duration of maintenance is:

  • 20 percent of the length of a marriage of under 5 years
  • 24 percent of the length of a marriage of 5 to 6 years
  • 28 percent of the length of a marriage of 6 to 7 years
  • And so on, up to a marriage of 20 years or more, in which case spousal support can last for the entire length of the marriage or indefinitely.

However, the court can issue an order that differs from these calculations based on the parties' agreement, to prevent unreasonable hardship for the paying spouse, or to provide for the extraordinary needs of the receiving spouse. In cases in which the spouses have a combined annual income of over $500,000, the court will also deviate from the calculation to reach a decision appropriate to the circumstances. Spousal support can terminate early if the receiving spouse remarries or cohabits with a new partner, or if one of the parties is successful in petitioning for a post-divorce modification.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Spousal Support Attorney

We encourage anyone who needs legal assistance in pursuing a spousal support order to contact us at 312-884-1222 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Chicago, the North Shore, and the surrounding suburbs, including Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Mount Prospect, Inverness, Des Plaines, and Park Ridge.

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