How Long Does it Take to Get Spousal Support in Illinois?

Updated on November 24, 2023
Updated: October 5, 2023

The amount of time it takes to get spousal support in Illinois depends on the specific circumstances of each case. Generally, after filing a petition for maintenance (spousal support) with the court, a hearing will be held to determine if maintenance is appropriate and if so, how much and for how long.

The duration of the divorce process can range from 2 months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the divorce settlement dispute and the speed at which both parties can reach an agreement or obtain a court decision.

Contact Tommalieh Law's experienced spousal support attorney at 708-232-0017 for a free case evaluation! 

Who Pays Spousal Support in Illinois?

In Illinois, spousal support is paid to a spouse to maintain the lifestyle they had during the marriage. The amount of spousal support and the period of time that it is paid depends on each couple's unique circumstances. The issue of spousal support is separate from that of child maintenance and child custody. 

an alimony payment sitting on a desk

Generally, the court determines the amount and duration of payments of spousal support based on a variety of factors, including income disparity between spouses, the length of the marriage, and the ability of both spouses to pay.

Financial Resources

Obtaining spousal support in Illinois is a lengthy process. The amount and duration of spousal support depend on factors like each spouse's financial circumstances and earning potential.

The first step is filing a petition with the court. Then, both spouses go through a discovery process to exchange and review financial documents. This process can take months, and temporary support payments may be ordered if needed.

Annual Income of Each Spouse

Spousal support in Illinois is determined case-by-case. The income of each spouse is considered when determining support. If one spouse earns significantly more, they may have to pay a larger portion to the lesser-earning spouse. Both spouses may be ordered to pay support if one earns significantly less and needs financial help.

Determining an Appropriate Amount of Spousal Support Payments

In the state of Illinois, there is no specific timeline for reaching a financial agreement regarding the award of spousal support. The process of determining the appropriate amount of spousal support payments takes into account various factors and can take several months to complete.

a spousal support form next to a pen

Factors considered by the court include the duration of the marriage, each spouse's income and earning potential, contribution to the marriage, and other relevant factors.

Once an agreement is reached or a court order is issued for spousal support payments, both spouses are required to abide by it.

Taking into Consideration Non-Financial Contributions to the Marriage

In Illinois, the court considers non-financial contributions to the marriage, such as childcare and household management, when determining the length of spousal support payments. The duration of alimony payments is based on the length of these roles and the contributions made by each spouse.

Permanent Spousal Support Payments

In Illinois, spousal support payments are available and determined by a judge based on factors such as the length of marriage, income, assets, education, and earning potential of each spouse.

FAQ: What are the most common issues during an Illinois divorce?

The process for obtaining spousal support in Illinois can take several months to complete, depending on the complexity of each case and the factors considered.

Factors Used to Determine if Permanent Alimony is Necessary and Appropriate

The length of time to get spousal support in Illinois can vary. Factors such as case complexity and others affect the timeframe. The court considers various factors to determine if indefinite-term alimony is necessary.

These include marriage length, ages and health of the parties, child support obligations from previous relationships, earning capacity, financial resources, and other relevant factors. The court also considers non-financial contributions to the marriage.

Once an agreement or court order by a family law judge is issued for spousal support payments, both spouses must follow it.

Duration of Permanent Spousal Support Payments in Illinois

Spousal support payments in Illinois are typically long-term alimony. This means that the duration of alimony has an unspecified period and will continue until the recipient's spouse dies or the court ends the order.

Indefinite alimony is usually given in long-term marriages where one spouse earns much more and supports the other's lifestyle. When deciding on indefinite spousal support, the court considers factors like the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, living expenses, ongoing expenses, mortgage payments, utility bills, marital assets, their earning capacity, and their financial position.

a model house next to a scale and gavel with the word alimony in front of them

For indefinite maintenance, the family court may also consider non-financial contributions made by either spouse such as household responsibilities and duties during the duration of marriage.

Reevaluating Permanent Spousal Support Payments over Time

In Illinois, the court can also order a review of the spousal support agreement or order at any time. This means that one or both spouses may ask the court to reconsider the amount of ongoing payments, based on changes in circumstances such as job loss, illness, financial factors such as a change in income, or other factors.

If either spouse experiences changes that could result in a decrease or increase in their financial means, they should contact a divorce lawyer to discuss the factors and how they might affect their spousal support agreement.

Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance Payments

One of the types of alimony in Illinois is rehabilitative spousal maintenance payments which help the receiving spouse financially until they become self-supporting. Factors like standard of living, earning ability, and disabilities determine the amount and duration of the payments. Typically, these temporary spousal payments last 2 to 5 years.

Useful Tools: Illinois Estimated Spousal Support Calculator

Getting spousal support in Illinois takes time. The court looks at various factors but doesn't consider marital misconduct. Permanent spousal maintenance lasts until the receiving spouse passes away or the court ends the order. Sometimes, short-term rehabilitative spousal maintenance is given to help the receiving spouse become self-sufficient.

If either party experiences a significant change in circumstances, they can ask the court to modify or end the existing order.

Purpose of Rehabilitative Maintenance Payments in Illinois Law

Rehabilitative maintenance payments in Illinois law are designed to provide financial assistance to spouses with lower earnings to help them achieve financial independence.

This type of spousal support is available in cases where one spouse has faced a financial setback due to misconduct by the other spouse, such as domestic violence or adultery. The calculation for the amount and duration of rehabilitative maintenance payments in Illinois considers factors such as the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of both spouses, and the presence of disabilities.

a gavel with two wedding rings and a stack of money next to it

The court determines the amount and duration of rehabilitative maintenance payments based on the best interests of both parties.

Speak to an Attorney to Get Spousal Support Today!

If you need spousal support in Illinois, it can be overwhelming. But don't worry, Tommalieh Law is here to assist you.

Our law firm understands that this is a challenging time and we want to make the process as smooth as possible. Our skilled family law attorneys will listen to your situation and offer legal advice. We'll guide you through filing a petition and negotiating an agreement that suits your needs. Reach out to us today for a consultation and we'll help you obtain the financial support you require.

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