Am I entitled to maintenance/alimony and child support in Illinois?

Brian J. Blitz

Answered by:
Brian J. Blitz

Located in Chicago, IL
Berger Schatz

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If you relied mainly on your spouse for financial support during your marriage, then after divorce you may be entitled to maintenance (also called alimony). Illinois courts decide whether a divorced spouse is entitled to maintenance, and (if so) how much maintenance and for how long, by considering a broad set of statutory factors. Some important factors are the length of the marriage; what income (if any) each spouse earned during the marriage; the standard of living during the marriage; and how much wealth or income-earning potential each spouse will have after the divorce. Depending on those factors, a court may award one spouse maintenance that is permanent, temporary or “reviewable” after a certain number of years. Sometimes a spouse will be awarded maintenance for a limited period of time, to enable that spouse to complete an education or career training. Maintenance awards are also generally modifiable, if one or both parties experience a substantial change in circumstances. Finally, by law, your right to receive maintenance from an ex-spouse terminates if your ex-spouse dies, or if you remarry or cohabit with another person on a conjugal basis.

If you are divorced or living separately from the other parent of your child(ren), and the children primarily reside with you, then you are likely entitled to receive child support from the other parent. In Illinois, the amount of child support follows a statutory formula, based on the nonresidential parent’s net income and the number of children. However, in deciding the amount of child support, courts may also take into account the relative income levels of both parents, and the parenting schedule. Also, in addition to statutory child support, the nonresidential parent may be required to contribute to other child-related expenses such as tuition, extracurricular activities or medical expenses.





Answered 10/17/2013

Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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