Aurora Divorce Lawyer
Maintenance & Spousal Support
Spousal support and financial maintenance are types of payments from one spouse to another after a divorce. These payments are meant to support the recipient in case they are having difficulty adjusting to their new financial life. To determine the level of maintenance given to a spouse, a judge will look at a wide variety of factors including, but not limited to, child support needs, income level, changes in financial status, and so on. They will make a decision based on the aforementioned factors and the spouse will be required to pay the amount on a monthly basis, usually. Maintenance and spousal support ends if the financial recipient remarries, or if either spouse passes away.
Call (630) 901-8700 today for more information on maintenance, and get legal counsel.
There are several different types of maintenance a court may order:
(a) Temporary: Temporary maintenance is available to a spouse requiring support while the divorce is pending. A divorce can take a year or more to finalize. When the divorce becomes final, temporary maintenance ends.
(b) Permanent: This type of spousal support is permanent, absent some other change in circumstances. For example, a judge will award permanent maintenance, when one spouse is unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental disability.
(c) Rehabilitative: This type of spousal support is given to a spouse who needs time in order to become financially independent. Rehabilitative maintenance generally has a specific time frame, and ends when the receiving spouse becomes financially independent. For example, this type of support is available to someone who hasn't worked in many years or had foregone securing an education due to domestic responsibilities. This rehabilitative maintenance is designed to allow the receiving spouse time to secure gainful employment or to complete their education.
(d) Reviewable: This type of spousal support is reviewable, usually after a set period of time. For example, a judge will award reviewable maintenance, and will order the parties to return in two years to determine if the receiving spouse should continue to receive maintenance.
(e) In gross: This type of spousal support is given as a "lump sum", and is usually entered by agreement of both parties. For example, a party may agree to an inequitable distribution of the marital estate in exchange for waiving any further "maintenance" issues.
(f) Unallocated: This type of spousal support is combined with a child support obligation, and is usually entered by agreement of both parties. There are considerable tax benefits to unallocated support, in which the party paying the support will be allowed to take the total amount as a deduction.
If the parties cannot agree on whether maintenance should be made part of the marital settlement agreement, a court may, in its discretion, award or deny maintenance.
Understanding Maintenance or Spousal Support
Parties are entitled to have a similar standard of living after a divorce decree has been entered, as they would have enjoyed had they remained married. In determining maintenance, the parties will look to the length of the marriage and the respective incomes of both parties. In instances where there is a dramatic discrepancy in income, or that one party has made "sacrifices" by supporting the other spouse, an award of maintenance may be appropriate. Courts will look at a variety of factors and in its discretion, will either grant or deny a specific award of maintenance.
The Law Offices of David Lee is available in Kane, Kendall, Dupage, and Dekalb Counties