Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, has traditionally been awarded to wives as part of a divorce settlement. However, in recent years, evolving family situations and changing social norms have started to challenge that tradition. In a survey of 1,600 family law attorneys, almost half said they had seen a sharp increase in the number of husbands seeking spousal support from their wives.
The role of spousal support is to make sure that both spouses are able to walk away from the marriage and start fresh without undue extra financial pressure on one spouse. This is especially true in marriage where one spouse was either the primary wage earner or earned substantially more than the other.
According to the law in Illinois, there are certain factors that the court will examine to decide whether or not one spouse is entitled to spousal support from the other. These factors include:
- How long the couple was married;
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage;
- The income of each spouse;
- The age and overall health of each spouse;
- The property owned by each spouse, including awarded marital property and non-marital property;
- The present and future earning capacity of each spouse;
- Whether or not one spouse put their career on hold in order to devote their time to raising the couple’s children or support the career of the other spouse;
- How long it will take for the spouse seeking support to obtain education, training, and employment;
- The difficulty in obtaining that training and/or employment because of child custody responsibilities; or
- The existence of a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement exists between the spouses.
Under recent changes to the spousal support law in the state, there are now specific guidelines that the court must follow for couples who have a combined gross income of $250,000 or less. These guidelines were established to be similar to those dictating calculations of child support and are based on the number of years the couple was married.
Issues such as spousal support and property division during a divorce can turn negotiations into one battle after another if you are dealing with a difficult spouse. That is why it is imperative to have an experienced Kane County divorce attorney representing you. To learn more, call Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. at 630-377-7770 for a free initial case consultation.