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Getting a Divorce When You Have Been Out of the Workforce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysGetting divorced is always a challenging endeavor, but for those facing a divorce after not working outside the home, it can seem impossible. If you have been a stay-at-home parent or homemaker and are considering divorce, you may have many concerns about what will happen after your marriage ends. How will you get a job and support yourself with so little work experience? Will your non-financial contributions to the home and family be taken into consideration by Illinois courts during divorce? Fortunately, Illinois law does recognize the issues homemakers and stay-at-home parents face when they get divorced, and there are several legal options available to make the transition to single life more manageable.

Non-Financial Contributions Matter Too

The sacrifices a parent or spouse makes for his or her family should be accounted for during divorce. Illinois law considers marriage to be a “joint enterprise” meaning it recognizes the contributions that a stay-at-home mother or father and/or homemaker made to the marriage. A parent who sacrificed his or her professional career for caretaking responsibilities is at a significant financial disadvantage after divorce. Illinois courts therefore consider both party’s’ future employability and contributions to the marriage – both financial and non-financial – during decisions about property and spousal maintenance.

Illinois Divides Property Equitably

Unlike some other states, Illinois divides property according to a method called “equitable distribution.” This means that property is not automatically divided 50/50. Instead, many factors are taken into account during property division. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage;
  • The value of each spouse’s non-marital property;
  • The value of the marital property anticipated to be assigned to each spouse;
  • Each spouse’s future earning capacity and financial circumstances;
  • Any child support or maintenance payments from a previous marriage; and
  • Child custody arrangements and child support.

Only marital property is divided during an Illinois divorce. Non-marital property, also called separate property, includes assets the spouses entered into the marriage already owning, as well as certain gifts and inheritances. Illinois is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, so marital misconduct does not influence property and maintenance decisions.

Spousal Maintenance May Be Awarded to Homemakers

Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, may be awarded by Illinois courts to a lesser-earning spouse. Maintenance payments are generally intended to be temporary and allow the recipient spouse time to get back on his or her feet financially. Long-term or permanent maintenance may be granted if the recipient spouse is unable to support themselves or the marriage lasted for many years.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

To learn more about spousal maintenance, property division, and other aspects of divorce, consult an experienced Naperville family law attorney. Call 630-352-2240 for a confidential consultation at Pesce Law Group, P.C. today.



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