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How Long Do Spousal Maintenance Payments Last?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Naperville alimony attorneysIn some divorce cases, one of the spouses is entitled to spousal maintenance, or alimony. Maintenance is typically ordered when one spouse is left at a significant financial disadvantage by divorce or when a valid prenuptial agreement stipulates spousal maintenance arrangements. Whether you are a payor or recipient of spousal maintenance, you may have many questions about how long payments will last. Spousal maintenance is often temporary, but there are some cases in which long term or permanent maintenance is ordered. Read on to learn more.

Spousal Support Laws in Illinois  

When determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate, Illinois courts consider several factors including but not limited to:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income and assets
  • Each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
  • Any impairment to a spouse’s earning capacity
  • Contributions a spouse made to the advancement of the other spouse’s career or education
  • The time needed for the recipient spouse to obtain job training or education necessary to become gainfully employed
  • Each spouse’s age, physical health, and mental well-being

If a prenuptial agreement or similar marital agreement does not address spousal maintenance, the duration of spousal maintenance payments is typically based on statutory guidelines. If the combined income of the spouses is less than $500,000, the duration of spousal maintenance is determined by the number of years the couple was married. The longer the marriage, the longer the maintenance payments last. In divorce cases involving marriages of 20 years or more, the court may order permanent spousal maintenance or maintenance for a term equal to the length of the marriage.

Termination of Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance payments automatically terminate if the recipient spouse remarries or passes away. Unless otherwise specified in a valid marital agreement, maintenance is eligible for termination if the recipient is cohabitating with another person in a marriage-like relationship. Sometimes, circumstances change and the amount or duration of spousal maintenance payments is no longer appropriate. If a spouse experiences a major change in circumstances, he or she may petition the court for modification or termination of spousal support.

Contact a Naperville Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Spousal maintenance payments are intended to help a lesser-earning spouse secure the skills or education necessary to become self-supporting. To learn more about your spousal maintenance options, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. today. Call our office at 630-352-2240 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney.



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