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How spousal maintenance is determined in Illinois

Alimony is an important part of a divorce and can be one of the more stressful aspects of a divorce, including other financial issues the divorcing couple must resolve during their divorce. As a result, it may help for divorcing spouses to understand how the alimony process works.

In Illinois, there are three different types of alimony, or spousal maintenance, the family law court may award including temporary maintenance, rehabilitative maintenance and permanent maintenance. Each type of maintenance serves a different purpose for different situations. The family law court will look at several factors to determine an award of alimony such as the length of the marriage; the ability of the paying spouse to pay maintenance; and the recipient spouse's need for spousal maintenance.

The family law court uses a formula similar to the one used for child support to determine an alimony award. The formula takes into account the gross income of the divorcing spouses and the length of the marriage when determining spousal maintenance. Alimony does not necessarily have to be a contentious part of a divorce if the divorcing couple understands how it is determined and what it is based on.

Understanding the alimony process can help divorcing spouses ensure their interests are protected and that they understand the financial impact of their divorce. The family law process provides many tools to help divorcing couples with the concerns they are facing once they have made the difficult decision to divorce and spousal maintenance is one of those concerns.

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