In 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....