Spousal Support

Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, is paid to a spouse who is without sufficient income. The purpose is to provide the opportunity for them to rehabilitate him or herself and become self-supporting.

Typically, spousal support is for a finite period of time. The amount and length of the payments can be determined by the court or by agreement in a divorce settlement or separation agreement.

In Illinois the support payments (if any) can influence how the marital property distribution is awarded, which is why it can become a very intricate part of the final outcome of any divorce. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on this issue, the court will order support from one spouse to the other. Without regard to marital misconduct, support can be ordered in a lump sum, or for a fixed or indefinite period of time. Support may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse after considering all relevant factors, including . . .

  • the income and assets of each party
  • the financial needs of each party
  • the earning capacity of each party
  • any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to the devotion of time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage
  • the time necessary for the receiving party to seek employment
  • the standard of living established while married
  • the length of the marriage
  • the age and health condition of both parties
  • the tax ramifications of the property award upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties
  • contributions and services by the party seeking support to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse
  • any valid mutual agreement of the parties
  • any other factor that the court expressly finds.

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or the primary wage earner in the family, you should understand the laws regarding spousal support and maintenance and have proper legal representation.


"You were the most prepared and effective lawyer I've ever encountered. You know the law backwards, forwards and sideways."
"Walter was exceptional. I will certainly use him for all my future divorces."
"I was bitter and naïve as my marriage drew to an end. You helped me minimize the drama, understand the legalities, and not just see but reach the light at the end of the tunnel."

Divorce is a complex issue emotionally, financially, logistically and legally. I've sat on all sides of the table and will represent you with the strength and wisdom that comes from personal experience and many years of legal expertise. I will guide you through the intricate process, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests. Following is some basic information for you to review.


Reasons for Granting Divorce

In Illinois, the spouse who files for a divorce (the "Petitioner") must have legal reasons for wanting a divorce, which are called "grounds." There are two types of grounds in this state . . .

Fault, in which you are blaming your spouse for causing the marriage to fail. The ten fault grounds in this state are impotence, bigamy, adultery, willful desertion, habitual drunkenness, excessive use of addictive drugs, attempted other spouse's life by poison or other means showing malice, extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty, convicted of a felony or other infamous crime, infected other spouse with sexually transmitted disease.

Irreconcilable Differences, in which you are not blaming any one spouse for causing the marriage to fail. This is the most common ground and the closest thing to a "no fault" divorce. You are telling the court that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage and that future efforts at reconciliation are impracticable and not in the best interest of your family. A waiting period is involved, though this may be waived if agreed upon by both parties.


Methods of Ending the Marriage

Each individual is unique in their situation, priorities and needs. I will assist you to determine the best of the three general paths you can take for ending your marriage, and can represent you in all of the following manners.

Collaborative law is a process in which the parties and their attorneys agree to resolve their legal issues through a negotiated agreement, without resorting to the court except for approval of their final agreement.

Mediation is the use of a neutral third person to help the parties come to mutual agreement.

Litigation is the traditional adversarial model of resolving disputes, where the parties and their attorneys go to court to settle their differences, and if the parties cannot reach agreement a judge decides for them.

I would be happy to meet with you for a complimentary consultation. Please contact me directly in the form below, or by phone at (630) 873-8400.



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