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b2ap3_thumbnail_collaborative-divorce_600x400.jpgMany people feel as though they are stuck in a bad marriage due to the state of their finances. If you are dependent on your spouse’s income, you may be able to get temporary financial support for yourself and for your children as you work your way through the process of divorce.

Defining Temporary Maintenance

Under Illinois law, this type of support is called “temporary maintenance” and “temporary child support.” Temporary maintenance is often more easily awarded than standard maintenance—also known as alimony—which, when necessary, is awarded for longer periods of time after the divorce is final.  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_spousal-support-after-divorce_600x400.jpgDuring your divorce, there will be many issues for you and your spouse to resolve. It probably comes as little surprise that property and finances are often among the most contentious concerns. You and your spouse have worked hard for what you have, and the idea of “losing” your property in your divorce can be difficult. Financial matters, however, include more than just dividing marital assets and debts. Spousal support—sometimes known as alimony or maintenance—is another monetary issue that can create serious disagreements between divorcing spouses.

If you are considering a divorce, you are likely to have questions about how maintenance is awarded in Illinois and if it will be a consideration in your case. Some of the most commonly asked questions include:

Q.  Is Spousal Support Automatic?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-keep-last-name_640.jpgOne of the most common questions that those who are facing a divorce often have is whether or not alimony will be ordered in the divorce judgment. In many cases, alimony—or maintenance as it is known in Illinois—is a point of serious contention with each spouse’s opinion in direct opposition to that of the other. If you are considering a divorce, there are some things that you should know about maintenance awards and how such decisions are made under Illinois law.

A Brief History

The entire purpose of spousal maintenance is to help alleviate the impact of divorce on a financially disadvantaged spouse. In past generations, alimony was virtually a standard component of many divorce proceedings. This was due to the fact that in a large percentage of marriages, one spouse—usually the husband—was the primary or sole source of income. The other spouse—usually the wife—often worked much less, if at all, focusing instead on household and child-rearing duties. When such a couple divorced, it was nearly impossible for the lower-earning spouse to support herself, especially if she was also granted custody of the couple’s children. Therefore, a divorce judgment often obligated the higher-earning spouse to provide financial support either permanently or until the other spouse could become self-sufficient.

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