Blog posts tagged in spousal maintenance
While alimony awards during divorce are less frequent than they once were, there are times that it is still warranted. The following information explains how you can determine if you might be entitled to support (or required to pay it). You shall also learn how support is calculated during an Illinois divorce, and why legal assistance is recommended for those dealing with alimony issues.
When Alimony May Be Owed
Many situations may lead to a ruling for alimony, but most share a common thread: one spouse is financially disadvantaged. This disadvantage could be caused by a lack of education, job experience, training, health issues, or an extended period outside of the workforce. It can also mean more than an inability to support one’s self; it might also apply if one party has become accustomed to a particular lifestyle during the marriage but is unable to maintain it on their own. The latter is typically seen in high net worth divorces, but the former may occur during any divorce case.
Senate Bill 57 has significantly altered the laws and statutes of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act (IMDMA), including those that govern how child support and spousal maintenance are handled during divorce proceedings. Accurate information on these changes may be especially important for divorcing couples that have limited earning potential or excessive amounts of debt, or for those that have mentally or physically disabled children.
Changes to Illinois Spousal Maintenance Laws
Although it is extremely unlikely that every divorce action will include a provision for spousal maintenance, the changes brought about by Senate Bill 57 (effective January 1, 2016) have significantly altered how courts decide when to award spousal support. Now, financial obligations that have emerged from the divorce, along with realistic present and future earning potential are considered.
Spousal maintenance is often one of the most contentious issues during divorce. Often referred to as “alimony,” this payment of support from one spouse to another has come under criticism in recent years. As a result, some legislatures across the country have revised the legal aspects of maintenance in an effort to provide more structure to when and how it is awarded.
Traditionally, in most jurisdictions around the country, it has been left to the judge’s discretion about whether spousal maintenance should be applied in any given case. After various factors are considered, the judge may decide upon a maintenance award that he or she believes would best support the designated spouse.
As the filing deadline for taxes is rapidly approaching, those who are divorced or are considering divorce should review the typical concerns that crop up during this time for people as they prepare their taxes.
Your filing status is determined by your marital status as of December 31st of the tax year. You have to file jointly even if you are living separately and going through the divorce process. It is beneficial to file jointly as certain deductions and limits are doubled for married couples. There is also bad news; both partners would be liable in the event of an audit.
Another area that could result in a tax break is having a dependent. In the majority of cases, the custodial parent can claim a child as a dependent by having the child for more than half of the year. Certain divorce decrees give the non-custodial parent the corresponding tax break for claiming a dependent child in the course of splitting property, so it is important to review your divorce agreement.
In Illinois there is an option for people who want a quicker and easier divorce, it is called a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. The law in Illinois has set this procedure for people who have no children and little to no assets. It is a divorce which must be agreed upon by both parties because it is a joint petition. Both sides will need to go to court together and file for the divorce. Before it seems too easy to do, there are certain requirements which must be met in order to file for a joint simplified dissolution of marriage.
There is an Illinois residency requirement for both parties. Either spouse must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days, which can include being stationed there by the military. But the two sides can’t live together during that time. Separate living arrangements must be kept for at least 6 months in order to qualify for this kind of divorce. The marriage will be childless and not last longer than eight years. There are also qualifications which must be met as to the assets that are held by the married couple before they split.