Alimony / Spousal Maintenance


The common term alimony and the Illinois statutory phrase spousal maintenance refer to the same thing: the right of a financially weaker spouse to collect regular payments from the financially stronger spouse during and after divorce proceedings.

With a practice focused exclusively on family law since 1974, our attorneys at Thomas W. Hunter, P.C., in Illinois have a thorough understanding of alimony laws. Additionally, we are experienced with practical considerations that can affect a family court judge's alimony decisions while helping you avoid mistakes while protecting your interests.


How Is Alimony Calculated?


Years ago, when women and mothers typically did not work outside the home, the grant of alimony from a husband to a wife was fairly routine. Currently, the court will balance the need of either spouse for payments against the ability of the other spouse to provide them while considering how much time it will take the receiving spouse to become financially independent.


When divorce occurs between spouses who have been married 20 years or longer, where one of them worked only sporadically if at all, the court might well grant permanent spousal maintenance to age 65. In marriages of short durations, say less than six years, it is very unlikely that alimony will be granted.


The most complex alimony issues arise in cases where the marriage lasted for 10 to 15 years and the financially weaker spouse has prospects for a good career with a year or two of additional education or training. In cases like these, our experience with such situations can present your position in highly persuasive terms, if the matter comes to a contested hearing.


We Understand How Different Issues Affect Each Other


In most situations, however, it may be best to consider spousal maintenance and property division issues together. They are generally negotiated in a package, and when agreement is not possible, the court will usually resolve them in one hearing.


That means too much insistence on a particular position could result in a favorable ruling on that issue, only to wind up with an unfortunate result on the other. In a real estate market like the suburbs of Chicago, the difference can be very substantial.


Get The Experience You Need To Protect Your Interests


Our law firm's experience with the careful balancing of complex property division, spousal maintenance and divorce taxation issues can give you a significant advantage toward achieving your objectives with respect to all three.


For a consultation about your rights and obligations concerning alimony, both as a legal matter and as a question of practical negotiation, contact a knowledgeable divorce lawyer at Thomas W. Hunter, P.C., today for a free consultation.