The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C.
Illinois Matrimonial and Family Law 630-DIVORCE

Basics of alimony in divorce proceedings

Alimony, sometimes referred to as "spousal support," is an important concern during many divorces. As a result, it is an important aspect of the divorce process to understand.

Alimony is a payment that is made by one former spouse to the other in some circumstances. Because this can be a concern for former spouses, it is important to understand how alimony is determined and in what circumstances it may be awarded. Alimony is intended to help a lower-wage earning or non-wage earning spouse who might be disproportionately impacted by the divorce. The former spouse may be lower-wage earning or non-wage earning because they remained in the home to care for the household or children, or contributed to the development of the other spouse's career or education.

Different factors are considered when determining alimony and because they vary by state, it is important for divorcing couples to know why factors will be considered in their circumstances. Factors that may be considered include: the age, physical condition, emotional condition and financial conditions of each of the former spouses; the length of time that would be required for the former spouse to acquire the education and training they would need to become self-sufficient; the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage; the ability of the paying spouse to pay alimony and still support themselves; and the length of the marriage.

The duration of alimony can also vary according to the circumstances. There are many considerations that are taken into account when the family law court considers alimony, which is why divorcing couples should be prepared for what they are.

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