2023 Guide to Spousal Support in Illinois

Updated on November 15, 2023
Updated: October 4, 2023

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a legal obligation for one spouse to financially support the other. In Illinois, it is awarded when one spouse lacks the means or annual income to support themselves. Our guide to spousal support is to help you understand how to maintain the same standard of living as during the marriage.

Illinois law allows for both temporary and permanent spousal maintenance payments. Temporary support or fixed-term spousal support aids during divorce, while permanent support or indefinite maintenance is for those unable to achieve financial independence.

Spousal support is crucial in Illinois divorces to ensure a reasonable and accustomed standard of living. Contact Tommalieh Law at 708-232-0017 and speak to our top Orland Park spousal support attorney for more information about alimony payments and the duration of payments.

Understanding Spousal Support in Illinois

Spousal support, or alimony, is a financial payment made from one former spouse to the other after a divorce. In Illinois, factors like marriage length, income, health, custody, the standard of living, and ability to pay are considered when determining spousal support. In Illinois, spousal support is typically awarded for a limited time to help the recipient become financially independent. The court decides the amount and length of payments based on each case's facts. In some cases, permanent spousal support may be granted for longer marriages where self-support is not possible due to age, illness, or disability.


Our Guide to Spousal Support

Spousal Support, also referred to as alimony or maintenance, is a court-ordered payment made by one spouse to the other to provide financial assistance. In Illinois, spousal support may not be guaranteed and can be either temporary or permanent. The purpose of spousal support is to help the receiving spouse achieve financial independence and to ensure that both parties maintain a reasonable standard of living after their divorce.

Types of Alimony in Illinois

In Illinois, there are two types of alimony available—temporary and permanent. The type of alimony available depends on the length of the marriage, the financial situation of both parties, and other factors that may apply.

Temporary Alimony is awarded to a spouse while the divorce process is ongoing. It is used to help one spouse maintain their standard of living until they can become financially independent.

Permanent Alimony is generally awarded to a spouse who cannot become financially independent due to age, disability, or other factors. It is also used to maintain the same standard of living that both spouses had before the divorce.

FAQ: How can you prepare for your divorce hearing in Illinois?

Considerations for Awarding Alimony

When awarding alimony in the state of Illinois, the court considers a variety of factors to determine if it is necessary and how much should be awarded. These include the length of the marriage, the financial needs of each spouse, and the standard of living that was established during the marriage. The court also takes into account any economic or educational disparities between spouses that may have arisen since separation.

Factors Influencing the Amount and Duration of Maintenance Payments

When determining the amount and duration of maintenance payments in Illinois, several factors will be taken into consideration. These include the length of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each spouse, any disability or special needs of either spouse, the tax consequences for each party, and any other relevant issues such as child custody or marital debts.


The length of the marriage is a major factor in determining the amount of alimony to be paid. Generally speaking, if the marriage lasted for more than ten years, then permanent alimony is considered. Additionally, if either partner earned significantly more than the other during the marriage, then they may be obligated to pay a larger amount of alimony.

Marital Misconduct & Fault-Based Divorce in Illinois

In Illinois, marital misconduct and fault-based divorces are taken into consideration during the process of determining spousal support. This means that if a spouse has committed adultery or other types of misconduct before or during the marriage, it can be considered when making decisions about spousal support. Additionally, if one spouse is found to have been at fault for the divorce, such as abandoning their partner

Standard of Living During the Marriage & Ability to Pay Maintenance

When it comes to spousal support in Illinois, the courts look at two primary factors when considering an award: the standard of living during the marriage and the ability to pay maintenance. The court’s determination of whether or not to award spousal support is based on a consideration of these and other factors, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s financial resources.

Financial Needs & Obligations of Both Parties

In the state of Illinois, spousal support, or alimony, is determined by a court order when parties are negotiating a divorce. The court will take into account the financial needs and obligations of both parties in determining an appropriate amount of alimony.

Learn More: How to Manage Your Finances After a Illinois Divorce

The court will look at several relevant factors to determine the financial needs and obligations of each party. These include the length of the marriage, each party’s earning capacity, each party’s financial resources, the lifestyle that was established during the marriage, any economic disparities between the parties that have arisen since separation, and any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

Spousal Support Considerations & Sources of Income for the Payee

Spousal support is a form of financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce in Illinois. Various factors are taken into account before an award is granted, to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a comparable standard of living to that experienced during the marriage.


The court will consider a variety of factors when determining the amount and duration of spousal support payments, including the length of the marriage, each party’s income, and earning potential, any disability or special needs of either spouse, the tax consequences for each party, and other relevant issues such as child custody or marital debts. The court will also take into account any sources of income the payee may have, including employment, investments, or other assets.

Sources of Income Relevant to a Maintenance Award

When determining the amount of spousal support that should be awarded in an Illinois divorce, the court will consider a variety of sources of income that are relevant to making a maintenance award. These sources of income may include salaries and wages from current employment, as well as other forms of steady or recurring income such as bonuses, overtime pay, pension benefits, rental income, stock dividends, and trust distributions.

Other Financial Obligations That May Affect Payment Amounts

When determining spousal support in Illinois, the courts will consider a variety of factors. This includes other financial obligations that may affect payment amounts. These obligations can include child support payments, medical bills, and any other debts the spouse may have incurred during the marriage.

Useful Tool: Estimated Spousal Support Calculator in Illinois

Child support payments are typically handled separately from spousal support and can vary greatly based on several factors, including how many children are involved and the income of each parent. In addition, other financial obligations such as taxes or student loan payments may also be taken into consideration when determining spousal support.

Temporary Maintenance Awards and Permanent Alimony Orders

When a married couple in Illinois decides to end their marriage, one of the issues that must be addressed is spousal support. In Illinois, two types of spousal support orders may be issued: temporary maintenance awards and permanent alimony orders.


Temporary maintenance awards or reviewable maintenance awards are designed to provide financial assistance to a lower-earning spouse during divorce. They will remain in effect until a permanent alimony order can be issued.

Permanent maintenance or alimony orders are based on the length of the marriage and the financial needs of each party. They may provide for periodic payments or a single lump sum payment.

Call an Experienced Spousal Support Attorney Today!

Are you looking for expert legal advice and representation regarding spousal maintenance agreements in Illinois? Look no further than Tommalieh Law, a premier family law firm dedicated to providing top-notch spousal maintenance agreement legal services. Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling spousal support cases, so you can rest assured that you’ll get the best possible outcome.

Our team of divorce attorneys is well-versed in the intricacies of family law and can provide you with the knowledge and insight you need to reach a satisfactory resolution. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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