It is natural for divorcing couples to be concerned about financial implications. Frequently, there are immediate repercussions; for others, they are further down the road. Discussing the situation with a maintenance attorney in Chicago can relieve fears. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is often ordered by a judge when one of the spouses needs financial support. It is important to be aware of recent changes to these laws.
Changes in Illinois Law
In years gone by, the assumption was the husband was the primary breadwinner in a marriage. This automatically granted spousal support to the wife in many cases. The thought was the wife needed the extra finances to help maintain a certain standard of living. However, today, both men and women have successful careers. It is no longer assumed the man would pay simply because of gender.
Factors Often Considered
Sometimes, couples agree to an amount of spousal support before finalizing a divorce. A maintenance attorney in Chicago can help insert this decision into the paperwork. If couples can’t decide, a judge can help. There are numerous factors to be considered by a judge who is deciding on the level of support a spouse will be awarded, including:
- Income generated and property owned by each spouse
- Current income and potential earning capacity of each party
- Whether a spouse put their career on hold because of the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted and if children are involved
Modifications of Spousal Support
Either spouse may modify a spousal support agreement after the divorce is finalized. When there is a substantial change in finances or circumstances for one of the parties, a maintenance attorney in Chicago can look at the agreement to see if it can be amended. An example of a situation warranting changes might be if one spouse loses their job and can no longer make payments.
If you need to discuss your situation and your options with a maintenance attorney in Chicago, visit the Family Law Advocate website to learn how they can help.