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Can a Stay-at-Home Parent Receive Spousal Support Following a Divorce?

 Posted on January 03, 2022 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1707038608_20220103-161811_1.jpgGetting a divorce can sometimes involve financial struggles. During the divorce process, you will not only need to cover divorce costs, but you may need to find new living arrangements and determine how you will cover rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food, transportation, and other costs. If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may be worried about how you will be able to pay all of these expenses, whether you will need to find employment, and whether you will be able to continue staying home to care for your children. In this situation, it is important to understand whether you may be able to receive spousal support from your ex-spouse.

Eligibility for Spousal Maintenance

Payments made by one spouse to the other are generally known as spousal support or alimony, but the state of Illinois uses the term “maintenance” when addressing this issue. Maintenance is meant to address the disparity between spouses’ incomes. Both you and your spouse will want to try to maintain your standard of living after you split up, and if you earn a much smaller income or do not work outside the home, you will likely need financial support from your ex-spouse. Maintenance may be in addition to any child support that is ordered to address your children’s ongoing needs.

Maintenance may be awarded regardless of the reason for your divorce. “Marital misconduct” is not a factor that will be considered, so issues such as infidelity or a desire to end the marriage will not affect your ability to receive spousal support. Factors that are to be considered by Illinois courts when determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate include:

  • The financial resources available to both you and your spouse, including the income you each earn, the marital property allocated to each of you during the divorce, and the non-marital property you own

  • Your and your spouse’s realistic earning capacity, both currently and in the future

  • Whether you have any impairments to your ability to earn an income due to staying home and devoting yourself to childcare and domestic duties, as well as whether you have foregone employment, education, or career advancement opportunities during your marriage

  • Whether you may need time to pursue education or receive training that will allow you to seek and maintain gainful employment

  • How decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time will affect your ability to maintain employment and earn sufficient income

  • Whether you made any contributions during your marriage to help your spouse increase their ability to earn an income, such as helping pay for a college education or taking care of household responsibilities so they could devote time and effort toward advancing their career

  • Any other applicable factors, including the needs of you and your spouse, the tax consequences of the decisions made during your divorce, the duration of your marriage, and the standard of living you and your spouse have become accustomed to

If maintenance is awarded, a court will usually use a statutory formula to determine the amount that should be paid based on the income you each earn. The amount of time that payments will be made will be based on the length of your marriage.

Contact Our Elgin Spousal Support Lawyers

If you are a stay-at-home parent, financial support from your spouse may be crucial for ensuring that you will be able to meet your needs and continue providing for your children after your divorce. At Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C., we can advocate on your behalf during the divorce process to show that you need spousal support, and we will work to ensure that you will have the necessary financial resources going forward. Contact our Kane County spousal maintenance attorneys at 847-695-2400 to set up a free consultation today.



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