Depending on the circumstances, many people understand they will more than likely end up paying or receiving maintenance (alimony) once their divorce is finalized. However, these same individuals may not have a clear idea of exactly how long these payments go on for after the marriage is over. Although every case is different and the set of circumstances unique, there are a few guidelines that can help people going through divorce understand how long maintenance payments last in Illinois.
One of the biggest factors in determining how long maintenance payments will last will most likely be the type of alimony the court deems appropriate for the receiving spouse. The alternative is for couples to reach a settlement between the two of them to decide the amount and duration on maintenance payments without the courts deciding.
Types of maintenance payments in Illinois
Maintenance payments in Illinois will generally fall into one of three categories, depending on the circumstances of the case. They include temporary maintenance, rehabilitative maintenance, or permanent maintenance.
- Temporary maintenance – This type of maintenance is mandated during divorce proceedings. Courts may deem some spouses need financial support while separated from their wage earning partner, prior to the divorce being finalized.
- Rehabilitative maintenance – This is usually given to spouses expected to become financially independent at some point after the divorce is finalized. Set time frames may be imposed for when the maintenance ends. Some spouses may receive reviewable or periodic maintenance, which is similar in that it is meant to help spouses recover financially, but it may be extended or modified depending on the circumstances of the case.
- Permanent maintenance – Courts generally do not issue this type of maintenance unless the financially dependent spouse was married to his or her partner for a period of at least 20 years and is unlikely to find employment due to age or being out of the workforce for so long.
Can I ask the judge to change the length of maintenance?
Either party in a divorce can petition the court for a modification of the length of maintenance. For example, the individual paying rehabilitative maintenance may believe their former spouse has landed on their feet and are ready to work again. On the other hand, the spouse receiving the reviewable maintenance may need more time to finish their education/job training and find a career.
Lisle divorce and maintenance attorneys
If you are going through a divorce or are a spouse receiving or making maintenance payments and need help with your case, contact the dedicated Lisle divorce and maintenance attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. for a consultation about your case. With almost 100 year of combined legal experience, our West Chicago family law attorneys represent their clients with dignity and respect.
Our team represents clients throughout Illinois, including Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lombard, Lisle, and Aurora. Let us put our years of experience to work for you in your time of need to structure your alimony payments in a way that best serves you.