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Types of Spousal Support in Illinois

 Posted on February 23, 2024 in Spousal Maintenance

Naperville family law attorneyDeciding on the appropriate type of spousal support after a divorce can be a complicated process. Several factors come into play, including the income levels of both spouses, the length of the marriage, and more. Illinois allows for different categories of spousal support, each with its own considerations. An Illinois lawyer can help you understand the differences and can help lead to a more equitable outcome.

Temporary Maintenance

Temporary maintenance is spousal support that is paid while a divorce is still pending. It intends to maintain the financial status quo for both spouses while the divorce works through the courts. Temporary maintenance addresses urgent needs, allowing the receiving spouse to continue paying for living expenses even though the marriage is ending. Some of the financial support may also be used to pay legal fees related to the divorce. The courts determine eligibility for temporary maintenance by looking at the income levels of both individuals. Even if one spouse earned significantly more than the other during the marriage, temporary support aims to keep both at the same standard of living. This prevents one spouse from struggling financially while the other lives comfortably during the divorce process. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary spousal support ends. However, it may influence the determination for permanent maintenance.

Permanent Maintenance

Permanent maintenance is spousal support that continues after the divorce is finalized. Unlike temporary support, permanent maintenance is an ongoing obligation intended to provide long-term financial assistance. Courts decide whether to award permanent maintenance by examining several factors, including both individuals' income and employment potential. Permanent support aims to help the receiving spouse become financially independent or maintain the standard of living enjoyed during marriage.

The length of the marriage also determines eligibility for permanent maintenance. For marriages under 20 years, support generally lasts no longer than the length of the marriage. For longer marriages, maintenance may be indefinite. Even permanent spousal support usually ends at some point, such as if the receiving spouse remarries or either individual dies. The court order specifies under what conditions maintenance stops. Parties can also negotiate an end date.

Rehabilitative Maintenance

Rehabilitative maintenance has a specific purpose: to support the receiving former spouse while they receive education or training to reenter the workforce. Also called maintenance in gross, the temporary support helps fund tuition, books, and other education expenses.

Since the goal focuses on self-sufficiency, rehabilitative maintenance usually lasts for a fixed period of time, tailored to the length of the school or training program. That provides an incentive and deadline for the receiving spouse to complete the program and get a job that allows financial independence.

The success of rehabilitative maintenance depends on accurate forecasting. If the supported spouse requires additional training, the parties may have to modify the maintenance order to extend support. But overall, rehabilitative maintenance aims to limit the need for spousal support.

Contact a Naperville, IL Family Law Attorney

Navigating spousal support involves many intricacies. The various types address short-term crisis needs, long-term life changes, and paths to future employment. Working with a DuPage, IL family lawyer can help with the process. Call Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation.

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