When 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....