Pursuing Alimony? Contact O. Long Law
Divorce shouldn't deteriorate your standard of living.
Spousal maintenance, formerly called alimony, assists a lesser-earning spouse as they transition out of a marriage. It gives divorced people time to get back on their feet, continue their education, and otherwise get on with life without unnecessary financial strain. But spousal maintenance is a significant factor and among the most contentious issues when filing for divorce.
While Illinois law for spousal support applies to men, women, LGBTQ, and other couples the same way, there is still a lot that goes into decisions, agreements, and, most importantly, amounts. The Chicagoland lawyers and financial professionals at O. Long Law can do the math and advocate for what’s fair.
O. Long Law Helps
- Pursue & Enforce Appropriate Alimony Payments
- Financial Assessment & Long-Term Planning
- Facilitate a Smooth Transition into Post-Divorce Live
- Simultaneously Secure Child Support Orders
- Address Future Needs, Support Issues, or Modifications
Uncontested Divorce Resolved in 8 Weeks
Our client needed a speedy divorce, and she and her spouse had already come to an agreement. After coming to O. Long Law, we completed the entire process in 8 weeks.
Settlement in Highly-Contested Divorce
After staying in divorce limbo for over three years, a client retained O. Long Law and quickly reached a mutually agreed conclusion.
Client Keeps Entire Pension Post Divorce
As part of a negotiated divorce settlement, we preserved our client’s entire pension, safeguarding what she spent her career building.
Why Our Firm?
We are a women-led firm with experience handling high-asset and complex divorces. We know that facing a new life is challenging. Let us be as fierce as you need us to be and as compassionate as you deserve.
Clients Benefit From
- Serious litigators who fight to win – for you & your children.
- Aggressive negotiators, so you can’t be bullied.
- Personal financial guidance from our in-house MBA.
- Honest advice to help you make informed decisions.
- Team approach, so you never feel alone.
Meet Your Family's Team
Spousal Support in Illinois: Laws & What to Consider
The Long & Short of It…
Under Illinois law, the court may “grant a maintenance award for either spouse in amounts and for periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, and the maintenance may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse.”
While child support is mandatory, spousal maintenance is not. The court considers many factors when determining alimony. These factors include the length of the marriage, each party’s needs, income, and other marital contributions, to name a few.
Types of Spousal Support
There are four types of spousal maintenance in Illinois.
Temporary support is to help a lesser-earning spouse during the divorce proceedings. Temporary maintenance can be replaced after the divorce is finalized.
Rehabilitative maintenance provides financial support while a spouse goes to school or receives the training necessary to get a job. Once the recipient enters (or reenters) the workforce, the payer may ask the court to reduce or stop rehabilitative maintenance.
Reviewable maintenance is another temporary form of support. Adjusting the amount and duration depends on the spouse’s ability to achieve financial independence.
Permanent maintenance is based on the length of the marriage and for spouses who are unlikely to get a job or become financially self-sufficient. Permanent alimony ends when either spouse dies or if the recipient remarries.
Family courts in Illinois use a formula found in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to calculate maintenance.
Length of Maintenance
Illinois law uses an incremental formula defined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to determine how long maintenance lasts.
Failing to Pay Alimony
In Illinois, refusing to pay court-ordered spousal maintenance can have severe legal and financial consequences. The court may garnish wages, intercept a tax refund, or issue a jail sentence for contempt. Judges can also order a lump sum payment.
Spousal Support FAQ
Protect your legal and financial well-being.
Are Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Mandatory?
Child support and spousal maintenance are different. Parents have a legal obligation to support minor children, whether married or not. Spousal maintenance is not mandatory and does not apply to unmarried or unrecognized spouses. Maintenance is to assist the spouse until they reach financial stability, for a set time, or indefinitely, depending on the length of the marriage.
Does Spousal Maintenance End when the Payor Retires?
Court-ordered spousal support doesn't stop with retirement, but the monthly amount could change. Although most people think that alimony is paid only through income, other financial assets can meet this obligation. Your alimony attorney can help you obtain the spousal support you're entitled to in many situations.
Are LGBTQ Individuals Entitled to Maintenance?
Before 2014, members of the LGBTQ community could not legally marry in Illinois. Fortunately, the law has since changed, and now people with civil unions or marriages can seek spousal maintenance. At O. Long Law, we can explain how the law applies in your specific situation and what to do next.
Will Spousal Maintenance Affect My Taxes?
Before January 1, 2019, the party who paid maintenance could deduct the amount from their federal income taxes. The party who received the spousal maintenance was responsible for paying taxes.
For spousal maintenance agreements made on or after January 1, 2019, the party paying maintenance is taxed. The recipient does not pay taxes on maintenance. Your attorneys can guide you to the most current information and the appropriate tax professionals to help you understand how paying or receiving spousal support can affect your taxes.
Do Stay-at-Home Parents Receive More Spousal Support?
Raising children is arguably the most demanding job in the world. Still, you don't pay into social security, earn a pension, or have many financial benefits as a stay-at-home parent. Our attorneys and in-house financial advisor conduct a careful audit of each spouse's finances, income, and resources.
We aggressively pursue maintenance based on our client's loss of income and career opportunities due to the obligations of marriage and child-rearing.
What Areas Do You Serve & How Do I Reach You?
O. Long Law is based in Evanston, on Chicago's North Shore. We serve families in Northbrook, Deerfield, Glenview, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and Winnetka. Our alimony and spousal maintenance lawyers handle cases in Cook, Lake, Will, and DuPage counties.
You can reach us at 847-556-8846. We can set up a 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys. We'll listen to your needs and offer advice to make an informed decision about moving forward.
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm. Currently, we're meeting with clients via telephone or Zoom.