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Permanent Alimony: The Basics

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Permanent alimony is permanent, according to U.S. News and World Report, and while some unhappy couples may untie the knot, it’s alimony that keeps them tethered to their “till death do us part” vow. Alimony is the court-ordered payment that a husband or wife must make to his or her now ex-spouse upon divorce. “The purpose of alimony,” according to the FreeDictionary.com, is “to avoid any unfair economic consequences of a divorce, even after property is divided and child support, if any, is awarded.” Alimony, when deemed permanent, according to U.S. News and World Report, is squashed only when the payee remarries, which means that oftentimes the payee will opt for a new long-term live-in commitment rather than a marriage. This can often lead to murky waters—it may hardly seem fair that a person need to continue paying alimony to an ex now in a stable relationship with someone else. Permanent Alimony- The Basics IMAGE

“Even opponents of permanent alimony agree that there are sometimes good reasons for a spouse to receive permanent alimony,” such as a disability that prevents him or her from working, according to U.S. News and World Report. Yet permanent alimony can seem like a punishment for marrying the wrong person.

Because of this, many states, including Illinois, have now abandoned giving a permanent alimony ruling, unless arranged for by the couple. Illinois actually calls alimony “maintenance,” and divorce law in Illinois recognizes four forms of alimony: permanent, periodic (or temporary), and rehabilitative (until the ex is deemed self-supporting), and reviewable (in which the court re-evaluates the maintenance ruling at a later date). According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, courts in Illinois determine whether or not maintenance is important by considering the length of the marriage, the disparity of earnings, whether one spouse has given up career opportunities for the marriage, the age, health, and abilities of both parties, among other things.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, alimony is just one of the complicated processes to navigate. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois divorce attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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