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Terms to Know Regarding Spousal Maintenance

Posted on in Divorce

Algonquin divorce spousal support lawyerIn a divorce case, the court may award spousal maintenance (previously known in Illinois as alimony) to mitigate the economic impact of the separation for a lower-earning spouse. A spouse who has decided to forego a career in order to take care of their family or who earns a significantly lower income than their partner will likely be at a disadvantage following divorce as they build job skills to support themselves. Maintenance exists to help with that situation. 

Understanding Maintenance Terminology

If you are considering divorce or are in the process of obtaining a divorce from your spouse, there are a few terms relating to maintenance that are helpful to know:

  • Fixed-term maintenance - This type of maintenance is designated to end after a certain period of time, which the court will determine based on the length of the marriage. It is intended for marriages of less than 10 years. After the maintenance term ends, the receiving spouse is barred from pursuing further maintenance, and the spouse who was awarded the maintenance will have to be self-sustaining. This type of maintenance is intended to prevent repeated cases in court in which couples fight over the amount of maintenance and how long it will be paid.
  • Indefinite maintenance - This is maintenance that is awarded for an undetermined period of time and does not have a termination date set by the court. Indefinite maintenance continues until it is modified or terminated because of a change in circumstances for one or both individuals. It is most often awarded when a marriage has lasted longer than 20 years. 
  • Reviewable maintenance - In these cases, the court awards maintenance for a fixed period of time, but after that time, the court may review the couple’s circumstances to determine whether spousal support is still necessary. When reviewing the maintenance, the court can designate another fixed term maintenance as reviewable or non-renewable, or it can designate the maintenance as indefinite. 
  • Temporary maintenance - An individual may file a request for temporary maintenance while the divorce case is pending, as long as they have a legitimate reason for why maintenance should be awarded during that time. Temporary maintenance will usually end when the divorce is finalized. 

Contact a Knowledgeable Kane County Divorce Lawyer

If you need help understanding your rights to receive spousal support or your obligations to pay maintenance in your divorce case, our skilled Carpentersville spousal maintenance attorney can provide you with legal guidance and advocate for your best interests in court. We will provide the legal help you need throughout every step of the divorce process. Contact the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC today at 847-428-7725 to schedule a free consultation. 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

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