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Determining when alimony is appropriate in a divorce

There are many people who divorce each year in Illinois. Each one of these divorces is unique because the circumstances of each marriage are different. The number of children people have can vary, the amount of money families earn may vary, the assets they have can vary, and how they live their lives can vary. While the general issues that are present in each divorce are similar, how these issues are dealt will depend on the specifics of the marriage.

One issue that is dealt with very differently depending on the specifics of the divorce is alimony or spousal maintenance. One reason for this is that certain requirements must be met before alimony will be ordered. Therefore, there are many couples that will not qualify for alimony.

In order to determine whether alimony is appropriate the court will analyze a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, the income and property of each spouse, the needs of each spouse, the earning capacity of each spouse, whether there are impairments that will prevent a spouse from working, the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of marriage and others. After analyzing these factors, if the court determines that alimony is appropriate, the amount and duration of alimony will be determined.

Not every issue will be dealt with in every divorce. If the couple does not have minor children, then they will not deal with child support or custody. Also, alimony will not be appropriate in every divorce. That is determined by analyzing a number of factors and the unique circumstances of the marriage. Experienced attorneys understand the issues dealt with in divorce and may be a useful guide.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/504" accessed on November 24, 2015

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