Spousal maintenance is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Illinois divorce process. While the division of marital assets is a part of all divorces, and child support is a part of all divorces involving minor children, spousal support is much more situational. You may be able to secure spousal support through a prenuptial agreement or a divorce settlement agreement with your spouse. However, if you cannot reach such an agreement, you will have to demonstrate to the court that maintenance is warranted in your case.
Your need for financial support may begin as soon as you and your spouse separate and the divorce is filed. This is especially true if you do not have easy access to your marital assets. You can pursue temporary maintenance by filing a petition with the court that has jurisdiction over your divorce.
Along with your petition, you will need to file a financial affidavit and any relevant evidence that shows your limited income and resources. This evidence may include recent tax returns, pay stubs and other income statements, and statements from any bank accounts that you have access to. You might also include evidence of your regular expenses. Your affidavit and supporting evidence will be the primary basis for the court’s decision as to whether to grant temporary maintenance, and if so, how much maintenance to grant.
When deciding whether to include spousal maintenance in the final divorce resolution, the court will consider a comprehensive set of factors. One important factor is the outcome of marital property division. In some cases, a spouse who received temporary maintenance during the divorce process will no longer need maintenance after being granted their fair share of marital assets.
However, there are plenty of circumstances in which spousal support is warranted for a substantial amount of time after the divorce. You may be able to show the court that you need maintenance if you can demonstrate that at least one of the following is true:
Your earning abilities are limited, perhaps due to your age, health, parental responsibilities, or lack of education and work experience.
You have extraordinary financial needs beyond what your income can provide.
During your marriage, you made sacrifices for the betterment of your spouse’s education, career, or earning potential.
Your standard of living on your own will be significantly lower than it was while you were married.
Keep in mind that even if you are successful in securing maintenance, longevity of payments is usually limited based on the length of your marriage, so it is a good idea to start planning for your financial future.
With the help of an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer, you can better understand how the court makes spousal maintenance decisions and make a more convincing case for your needs. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we can help you protect your financial interests during and after the divorce process. Call us today at 630-932-9100 to request a free consultation.
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