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How Does Spousal Support Work in Illinois? 

Posted on in Divorce

Orland Park Spousal Support LawyerGetting divorced can represent a major financial burden. In some cases, spousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, can help provide some much-needed financial relief during the transition period after a divorce. In Illinois, courts will determine whether either party is eligible to receive spousal support based on several factors such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s financial resources. The spouses may also be able to negotiate an agreement about the amount of support a spouse receives. 

Who Can Get Alimony in Illinois? 

Alimony, which is called spousal maintenance in Illinois law, can be a great source of financial support and peace of mind when a couple separates. It can also be a substantial expense for the spouse paying maintenance. 

Some divorcing couples agree on the amount of support the lesser-earning spouse receives. For example, a couple may agree that the higher-earning spouse pays the lower-earning spouse  $1,000 a month for the first 12 months after the divorce. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, it is up to the court to decide whether maintenance will be awarded. 


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Markham Parenting Time LawyerThe two main components of child custody in Illinois are "parental responsibilities" and "parenting time." Parental responsibilities involve the big decisions in a child's life, such as education, religion, and medical care. Parenting time is simply the time each parent spends with the child. Parents can either share these responsibilities and parenting time, or one parent can have sole responsibility for the child. If parents cannot agree on parental responsibilities and parenting time, the court will make a judgment based on what is in the child's best interests.

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts in Determining Child Custody

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act lists several factors that courts must consider when making a child custody determination. These include:

  • The desires of the child's parents regarding custody and parenting time


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Will County Hidden Marital Assets AttorneyMarriage is about much more than money. However, when a marriage ends, financial matters are often a chief concern. If you are getting divorced, you may have questions and concerns about how marital property, such as bank accounts, real estate, and household items will be divided between you and your spouse. The situation becomes even more complicated if you or your spouse own complex assets like investments, retirement accounts, royalties, deferred compensation, businesses, or professional practices.

Divorcing spouses are expected to freely provide financial documents and truthfully disclose their income, assets, and debts. Unfortunately, some spouses lie about financial matters in the hopes of securing a better divorce settlement. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, underreporting income, or lying about financial issues, it is important to act quickly. Your divorce settlement should be predicated on the truth, not your spouse’s version of the truth.  

Signs Your Spouse is Lying About Financial Issues During Separation or Divorce

Illinois law requires divorcing spouses to disclose accurate financial information during the property division process. However, spouses hoping to shield certain assets from division may use many creative methods to hide these assets. Some red flags that may indicate financial dishonesty during a separation or divorce include:


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will county parentage lawyerWhile same-sex marriage has been recognized in Illinois for some time now, parentage issues for same-sex spouses are an evolving area of law. Illinois is among the first states to offer same-sex spouses the same presumption of parentage that opposite-sex spouses have long enjoyed. In opposite-sex marriage, a child born to the wife is palso presumed to be the husband's child. This presumption exists even if the spouses used a sperm donor or there is another reason to believe that the husband is not biologically the father. In Illinois, the presumption that a child born into a marriage is a child of both spouses has been extended to cover spouses who are of the same sex. 

Having both spouses identified as legal parents to the child protects both spouses in the event of a divorce and also protects the child. If you have concerns regarding the legal parentage of a child, our attorneys can help. 

The Parentage Presumption for Women Married to Women

Two married women now need only to have both of their names placed on the baby’s birth certificate in order to be considered legal parents. In the past, it may have been necessary for the wife who is not a biological parent to legally adopt their spouse’s child. However, now, when a child is born, the spouse of the person who gave birth enjoys the protection of being a presumed parent regardless of their genders. 


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illinois domestic violence lawyerThe period during which a victim of domestic violence attempts to escape the relationship, often by way of a divorce, can be a dangerous period. Many abusers react strongly to the prospect of losing a person they intend to retain complete control over. There may be an elevated risk of further violence, harassment, or intimidation during the time in which you are making a plan to exit. Seeking an Illinois Order of Protection may be one way to mitigate these risks. Orders of Protection can forbid the abuser from engaging in certain forms of conduct that may have a frightening or harmful effect on you. Your children may also be eligible to receive protection using one of these orders. 

Before you file for a protection order, it is best to speak with an attorney. While many do seek these orders unrepresented, it is important to know that if the abuser will not consent to the order, you may be required to attend a formal hearing where the party you are seeking an order of protection against or their attorney may have the opportunity to question you and vice-versa. These hearings are best handled by a qualified lawyer. 

Terms that May be Included in an Order of Protection

During the process of seeking an order of protection, you will generally have an opportunity to explain to the court what types of terms you would like included in the order. The pertinent terms may vary depending on a number of factors, including the nature of the abuse you have faced and your living situation. Remedies set out by statute which may be available in a protection order include: 


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