What You Need To Know About Maintenance

When a couple decides to end their marriage, the courts will often award one spouse the right to maintenance (alimony) payments to offset any financial inequality resulting from the divorce.

The lawyers of Denis M. Gravel & Associates P.C. in Gurnee, Illinois, are dedicated to helping individuals through divorce issues with compassion and dignity. With over 20 years of experience in the field, attorney Denis Gravel understands what is at stake and views these issues not as problems — but as opportunities to find solutions.

Understanding The Basics Of Maintenance

Maintenance, sometimes called alimony or spousal support, is an arrangement where one spouse makes monetary payments to their former partner following their divorce. It is generally meant to help a spouse who relied on their partner financially during the marriage or will experience unfair economic circumstances following the divorce.

Illinois courts consider a variety of factors when determining how much spousal maintenance to award, including:

  • Each party's income and property
  • Both spouses' present and future earning potential
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Contributions one spouse made to the other's education, training or career
  • The age, health, occupation and employability of both spouses

How Spousal Maintenance Is Distributed

Maintenance payments are generally made monthly, but in some cases, former spouses can elect to use a lump-sum payment instead. It may be because the lump-sum payment provides for finality from the divorce, or the paying spouse may be concerned about accidentally missing a payment. In either case, a lump-sum payment may be the best option.

For the spouse receiving maintenance, a lump-sum payment can be beneficial because they have the opportunity to invest the funds and thus increase the amount of money they ultimately get. However, there can be tax consequences for taking the entire alimony payment upfront. In light of this, it is important to consult with an attorney before deciding how you want to handle alimony payments.

Experienced Guidance Throughout The Divorce Process

Recent changes in Illinois law have made determining spousal support amounts more complicated than in previous years. Our firm is committed to ensuring our clients understand the process and have realistic expectations. Call 847-855-8447 or send us an email to schedule a free initial consultation.