Spousal support, also referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, can be awarded to one spouse in a divorce in order to help that spouse to maintain the lifestyle that he or she had become accustomed to during the marriage. Many factors are typically taken into account when determining whether spousal support is appropriate and, if so, how much should be paid.
In a recent family court case, a wife was ordered to pay spousal support to her ex-husband who is currently behind bars. His crime? A jury convicted him of sexually assaulting his wife during their marriage. This is an interesting story for all Illinois residents who are facing divorce and are concerned about paying spousal support in a situation in which domestic violence has been an issue.
The husband will be behind bars until 2014. Meanwhile, the wife has always been the main breadwinner. The couple had been married for 12 years. She makes a good salary and has been supporting the family financially since 2002. Under these circumstances, she was obligated to pay her husband $3,000 per month in spousal support.
Interestingly, the family court ordered this wife to pay her husband spousal support while he was in prison for the sexual assault. However, with the help of her family law attorney, she was able to convince the court that spousal support was not necessary while he is in prison.
She also tried to convince the judge that she should not have to pay the spousal support to her husband who committed the crime against her. However, the judge disagreed, but did reduce the amount she must pay him to $1,000 per month.
The court reasoned that because the wife made so much more money than the husband during their long-term marriage, it would be inappropriate not to award the husband spousal support. But is it appropriate to award a spouse alimony when he or she has committed a crime against his or her spouse?
Source: The LAist, "Court Requires Woman to Pay Alimony to Ex-Husband When He Gets Out of Prison For Sexually Assaulting Her," Emma G. Gallegos, Nov. 12, 2011