Illinois Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

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The court may grant alimony under Illinois law if circumstances make it necessary or reasonable to do so. The court will consider the circumstances of each party in determining any award of support.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – a court may grant temporary support during the period between filing for divorce and final dissolution, if one party requires it to survive.
  • Short-Term – support may also be granted for a short period of time after dissolution, especially if one party needs to obtain an education or skills to become employable.
  • Long-Term or Permanent – a court may grant support for a longer time in the case of a lengthy marriage if circumstances of the parties make it necessary.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in Illinois

Illinois law allows either party of a divorce to seek alimony. The courts will grant alimony based on need and abilities of both parties.

Illinois Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

Illinois courts may consider the following in determining alimony in a particular case:

  • Income and property of each party;
  • Needs of each party;
  • Earning capacity of each party;
  • Devotion of time or resources to child rearing;
  • Time needed to obtain education or skills for employment purposes;
  • Standard of living established during marriage;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Age and condition of both parties;
  • Tax consequences;
  • Contribution of a spouse to the education, career or training of the other spouse;
  • A valid agreement between the parties; and
  • Any other factors the court finds just.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Illinois

Modification or termination of alimony in Illinois is possible when the circumstances change in such a way that it is warranted. Generally, remarriage by the receiving spouse or conjugal cohabitation are reasons for termination of support.

Marital Fault in Illinois

While you can file for either a no fault or fault based divorce in Illinois, support payments will not be impacted by fault. The court determines the support payments based on financial circumstances as laid out above.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Illinois?

Length of support is determined at the discretion of the court and depends on factors such as the duration of the marriage, the situation of the parties and anything else the court determines reasonable to take into to consideration.

Illinois Alimony Taxes

Under federal tax law, alimony may be claimed as a deduction by the paying party. The receiving party must claim it as income if support is court ordered. There are multiple ways to set up a settlement for tax purposes, so discuss your situation with an attorney or tax professional.

Find an Alimony Attorney in Illinois

Discuss the circumstances of your case with an Illinois attorney who will help you understand your options. An attorney will advocate for you in court and throughout the dissolution process. Divorce may impact your income severely, so it is wise to seek the help of a professional who knows the legal system well.

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