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Understanding alimony

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When two people divorce, it is possible that the court may direct one spouse or another to pay ongoing alimony, or spousal support, depending on the nature of the marriage and the income of both parties. There are a number of factors that may contribute to an alimony ruling, and Illinois maintains its own set of laws to deal with the issue, like all states.

Alimony differs from property division, and often looks to the needs of one party following a divorce, especially if that party was significantly underemployed compared to his or her spouse. In situations where both spouses anticipate relatively similar income following a divorce, alimony is less likely to be considered.

The court will consider not only the income of both parties, but also whether or not one party is particularly in need, or gave up a significant amount of earning potential for the sake of the relationship. Alimony may also seek to recognize how long the marriage endured, and the ways that the party seeking alimony may have contributed to the other party's career advancement, education or other training.

Alimony may also be calculated to last a defined amount of time, such as the length of the marriage itself, or in some cases may be calculated to last indefinitely, depending on the length of the marriage and the age of the spouse seeking maintenance.

No matter what your alimony issue may be, it is vital to get professional guidance. With proper legal counsel by an experienced attorney, you can rest assured that justice will be achieved and that your rights will be preserved.

Source: Findlaw, "Illinois Alimony Laws," accessed March 03, 2017

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