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DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

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555 S Randall Rd, Suite 101, St. Charles, IL 60174

Phone: 630-410-9176
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in spousal support

dupage county divorce lawyerFor divorcing couples interested in resolving their divorce amicably and with minimal involvement of the court, mediation is often a viable method of alternative dispute resolution. Even in a contested divorce, the court will sometimes order the spouses to attempt mediation to resolve some of their agreements. Whether you are preparing for mediation voluntarily or by court order, it is important to know what to expect, including whether it is a good idea to hire an attorney for the process.

Mediators and Attorneys Play Different Roles

In mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a trained mediator who will help you reach an agreement on the various aspects of your divorce resolution, including property division, spousal support, child support, and the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Many mediators are also licensed attorneys who have a thorough understanding of the laws governing divorce proceedings in Illinois. However, their role in the mediation process is not to provide legal advice or advocate on behalf of either party. Rather, they must remain neutral and impartial, helping the parties identify common ground and make progress toward an agreement on their own terms.

A divorce attorney, on the other hand, is a representative for one of the parties. If you hire an attorney, they represent you alone. Their role is to advocate for you and your interests throughout the divorce process, whether in amicable negotiations or contested litigation. Your attorney can also provide you with qualified legal advice and help you fulfill all legal requirements to finalize your divorce. Importantly, an attorney cannot represent both spouses even in an uncontested divorce, as this would create a conflict of interest.

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Lombard divorce attorneysIn many marriages, an imbalance in income means that one spouse relies on the other for financial support to maintain their accustomed standard of living. When these marriages end in divorce, it can be especially hard for the lower-income spouse to recover financially. Thankfully, Illinois courts will often award spousal support or maintenance in these cases, but it is important to note that this is usually not a permanent solution. If you rely on spousal support, you should be aware of the circumstances under which those payments can end and plan accordingly.

Standard Duration of Spousal Support in Illinois

If the court determines that spousal maintenance is necessary, the duration of payment is typically calculated based on the length of the marriage, starting at 20 percent of the length of the marriage for marriages shorter than 5 years. For example, a marriage of 4 years would result in 9 to 10 months of spousal support. The duration increases by 4 percent of the length of the marriage for each additional year up to 20, at which point the court may award spousal support for a period equal to the entire length of the marriage or indefinitely.

If you are the spouse receiving support, understanding these calculations can help you make plans for increasing your personal income in the future, perhaps by continuing your education or seeking new career opportunities so that you can fully support yourself by the time the payments terminate.

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DuPage County divorce lawyersWhen one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other, the transition from married to single life can be particularly hard on the lower-earning spouse after divorce. This is especially true when the latter spouse has taken on most of the home and family duties in order to support the other’s career advancement. 

To ease the transition, the higher-earning spouse often makes monthly maintenance payments to the other for a year or more after the divorce. However, there are many misconceptions about Illinois laws on spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Both spouses should go into a divorce understanding what they can realistically expect when negotiating a maintenance agreement.

Q: What if I Do Not Think I Need Maintenance at the Time of the Divorce, But Change My Mind Afterward?

A: If you waive your right to maintenance in your final divorce settlement, you cannot go back to court later and try to obtain maintenance (750 ILCS 5/457e). Therefore, one important step in the divorce process is to work out a budget and determine how much money you will need to support yourself after the divorce.

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DuPage County divorce attorneys

A divorce settlement may require a higher-earning spouse to pay monthly spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, to a lower-earning or stay-at-home spouse. The divorce decree will specify the amount of the monthly payment and the duration of payments. If the decree specifies “indefinite” payments, you might assume the payments are guaranteed to continue until the recipient dies or remarries. 

However, the use of the term “indefinite” does not guarantee the recipient payment of maintenance for life. It is important for both spouses to understand when and how an award of maintenance could be modified in the future. If a spouse expects to depend on a fixed amount of income for the rest of their life, extra care must be taken in drafting the marital settlement agreement. 

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Posted on in Family Law

IL divorce lawyerIf you are currently married but are not happy and wish to end the relationship, there are a few different options. Two of the most common options are legal separation and divorce. Divorce is well-known and very common, ending in the dissolution of the marriage. It also allows a couple to separate and divide up property and assets. Child custody and maintenance may also be worked out in a divorce.

Legal separation is not as well-known. If a couple legally separates, they do not dissolve the marriage, but instead will have a separation agreement. Many of the same issues are addressed, such as child visitation, custody, alimony, or maintenance. However, it does not divide up properties and assets unless both people agree to it ahead of time. Neither spouse is allowed to remarry because the marriage has never been formally dissolved. There are differences in how finances are handled in each option so it is important to evaluate all your options before making a firm decision.

What Is Better About Legal Separation?

Not all marriages will benefit more from legal separation. However, if you wish to take advantage of any of the benefits below, it may be beneficial to legally separate instead of divorce:

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

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