Facebook Twitter Our Blog
Anderson and Associates, P.C.

Free Initial Consultation


How Spousal Support is Calculated

Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg Divorce Attorney

When two people get married, their financial situations change. The same is true in divorce. In Illinois, spouses who earn less money typically receive spousal maintenance (formerly known as spousal support or alimony). Here is a look at how spousal maintenance is calculated.

What Is Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance protects the individual in the marriage who makes less money and who would, therefore, be at an economic disadvantage in divorce. For example, one spouse may have stopped working to raise the family while the other maintained a high-paying career. Maintenance is meant to maintain the standard of living for both former partners. 

When the divorce process begins, spouses usually wonder how much maintenance will be paid and for how long. Spouses can reach a spousal support agreement on their own, or the court will base a determination on:

  • How long the marriage lasted;
  • The physical, emotional, and financial status of each party;
  • How long it would take for the lower-earning spouse to obtain training or education to support themselves;
  • The standard of living of the couple; and
  • What the higher paid spouse can afford. 

During the divorce, a couple can enact temporary alimony to assist the lower earning party. However, this can also be ordered by the court if a decision cannot be made and the lower-earning spouse needs maintenance because of the financial toll of divorce. This temporary order is canceled after the final divorce decree.

Before women had a large presence in the workforce and were more likely to be homemakers, permanent spousal maintenance could be ordered. This required payments until one of the parties died. This is much less common now in Illinois unless a spouse cannot gain employment or education to become self-sufficient. 

Spousal maintenance is typically ordered for a period of time that allows the lower-earning spouse to support themselves through education or career growth. The amount paid can also change due to circumstances with the two parties.

Contact an Experienced Barrington Divorce Attorney

To discuss your post-divorce financial concerns or to learn how to start the divorce process, contact a skilled Arlington Heights divorce attorney at Anderson and Associates, P.C. today at 847-995-9999.



Chicago Bar Association DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association
Schaumburg Office
Orland Park Office
Chicago Office
Wheaton Office
Downers Grove Office
Back to Top