What do courts consider when determining alimony in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Divorce |

In Illinois, courts do not always award alimony during divorces and when they do, the amount and relevant terms of the spousal maintenance vary. The courts consider several factors to ensure that their final decision involving alimony is fair and equitable to both parties.

The factors guiding the courts

Courts decide whether to award spousal maintenance, and if so, how much to award and until when, based on the following considerations:

  • The income and property of each party, including marital and separate property
  • The needs and essentials of each party
  • The present and future earning capacity of each party
  • Any impairment of the current and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance as a result of them being a homemaker during the marriage
  • The time necessary for the party seeking maintenance to gain proper education, training and employment, and whether they can support themselves through such employment
  • The effect of parental duties on a party’s ability to seek or maintain employment
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The marriage’s length
  • The age and overall health condition of both parties
  • The tax consequences of the property division to each party
  • Contributions by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career opportunities of the other spouse
  • Any valid agreement of the parties, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

On top of the factors mentioned above, the court can also consider any other factor that it finds to be just and equitable to both parties. However, these are merely guidelines to the court’s determination. Judges can deviate from the guidelines if the circumstances warrant it.

What to do before making a step forward

Whether you are seeking spousal maintenance or have been asked to pay spousal support, consulting with a divorce attorney who can guide you based on the specific facts of your case can help you make informed decisions toward protecting your rights and securing your future.