What is Spousal Support?

Sometimes during a marriage, one spouse works full-time while the other stays at home, either to raise the children or for another reason. In the event of a divorce, the unemployed spouse may face a decrease in his or her standard of living. To prevent a dramatic decrease, spousal support, also referred to as spousal maintenance, or alimony, exists.

Spousal support refers to the transfer of money or assets from one spouse to another after a divorce. However, not everybody is entitled to spousal support. There are many different factors the court must consider including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The income and property of each spouse
  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage

There are three different types of spousal support, depending on your personal situation. The first type of support or maintenance is referred to rehabilitative maintenance. This type of support refers to support that is given to a spouse who needs time in order to become financially independent. Rehabilitative maintenance has a time frame specified by the court and will end when the receiving spouse is back up and on his or her feet.

The longest-lasting type of support is called permanent support. This type of maintenance is, as one would imagine, permanent. Permanent support can be arranged after a lengthy marriage or when one spouse is not capable of supporting themselves. Typically, this type of arrangement will only end in the event of the death of one spouse or under other special circumstances.

The third type of maintenance is temporary maintenance. This type of support is used for a spouse requiring support while the divorce is still pending. The arrangement comes to an end when the divorce is finalized.

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and feel that spousal support is for you, do  not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you.