What Is Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance, or what was once known as alimony, is an issue in many divorce cases, particularly those in which the spouses have been married for many years. While spousal maintenance is not an automatic right, if it is appropriate for your situation, as your Illinois spousal maintenance attorney, I will work hard to make sure that you receive what you deserve.
I’m attorney Cynthia L. Lazar and I have more than 25 years of experience in spousal maintenance. I will work with you to make certain that the spousal support ordered in your case is fair.
Achieving A Fair Spousal Maintenance Order
In Illinois, once the court makes the threshold decision that maintenance is appropriate, the court will then determine the dollar amount of maintenance and the duration of maintenance using statutory guidelines. The courts evaluate requests for spousal support on a case-by-case basis. A number of factors are considered, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
- Each party’s ability to support themselves financially
- Future earning capacities
- The cost of education for a rehabilitating party
- The age and health of each party
In some cases, the non-wage-earning spouse may need rehabilitative maintenance, which is support provided for a set number of months in order to help the former spouses complete an educational program or get established in the workplace. With longer marriages, the courts will more likely order permanent spousal maintenance.
What is important to understand is that spousal maintenance is meant only for maintaining a reasonable standard of living. Accommodations may be made in the division of property that take into consideration the financial needs of a previously non-working spouse as he or she prepares to re-enter the work force.
Other agreements may come into play, such as recognition of the need for a parent to stay at home for a period of time to tend to an infant or a child with special physical needs, or because of illness or disability of the spouse. I do promote collaborative law when seeking spousal maintenance, although I am, of course, also ready to litigate on your behalf.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
As your attorney, I will help you make certain that your support or maintenance order is a fair one. Contact The Law Office Of Cynthia L. Lazar today for experienced legal counsel on spousal maintenance and more.