No two marriages are alike, and, in similar fashion, neither are any two divorces. The needs and desires of each party in a divorce also tend to differ, along with the abilities of divorcing individuals to earn enough money to maintain their lifestyles. It is this ability to earn that affects an Illinois judge’s decision concerning spousal maintenance.

While one party may petition the court for a certain amount of spousal maintenance, it is generally up to the judge’s discretion to determine the appropriate amount. Before awarding any alimony at all, a judge will first decide if the individual actually needs the maintenance. Many stay-at-home parents or individuals who were vastly out-earned by their spouses tend to qualify, especially if education or specialized training is necessary before they are able to re-enter the workforce.

If it is determined that alimony is indeed the best choice, the family law court will then move on to deciding the most appropriate amount. Judges often consider how long the couple was actually married and the level of education and related job skills the recipient has. For others, alimony might even be based on maintaining a certain standard of living to which one became accustomed while married.

Even when there is a financial need, alimony from a divorce is not always a guarantee. We understand how important the post-divorce financial support of spousal maintenance can be for a person. While the exact parameters surrounding spousal support might not seem obvious, legal guidance can help a spouse achieve financial stability. At our Illinois law firm, we have years of experience in family law that we use to the benefit of every client.