When an Illinois couple decides that their marriage is no longer going to work it can be an emotional and stressful time. There are many details that need to be worked out in the divorce including child support, property division, and alimony. In Illinois, there are four types of alimony that may be awarded.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act contains provisions about awarding alimony in a divorce. There are four types of alimony that may be awarded in a divorce.
Temporary maintenance is financial support that is awarded to one spouse while the divorce is pending. This type of alimony is intended to cover the spouse’s expenses during the divorce and may be awarded if the couple decides to live separately. A spouse who would want this type of alimony would include it in their initial divorce filing. This financial support ends when the divorce becomes final.
Fixed-term alimony is awarded for a set duration. Typically this type of alimony is awarded to allow a spouse to become self-sufficient. The spouse may have had to give up their career to care for children, the spouse relied on their ex-spouse’s income during their marriage, and the spouse seeking alimony has limited earning potential and needs to pursue education or training in order to maintain their standard of living.
Reviewable alimony is not awarded for a set duration but instead is reviewed periodically by the courts. The recipient needs to make a good-faith effort to become self-sufficient. Reviewable alimony may be awarded when a spouse doesn’t have a clear path to self-sufficiency or needs to take care of children.
Permanent alimony is only allowed when marriages have lasted 20 or more years. It can be awarded for the duration of the recipient’s lifetime.
An attorney who specializes in family law can help their client understand their alimony options. There are statutory guidelines that the courts use to award alimony but these can be deviated from with judge’s discretion as well.