What used to be called spousal support or alimony is now referred to as spousal maintenance. Maintenance law does change and evolve over time to reflect changing social norms and the political climate but also to reflect shifts in judicial power. In other words, judges sometimes have a significant degree of discretion in making decisions regarding the order of spousal maintenance. Recent Illinois law seems to be veering toward more set standards in maintenance, implying that Palatine residents will want to consult with a maintenance attorney for advice as to how to proceed.
Generally, judges will consider several factors when determining maintenance. Those factors include individually and jointly owned assets and debts, earning capacities of each party, age and physical health of both parties, the length of the marriage, and other factors like the couples’ standard of living. Of course, any prenuptial agreements will be factored into the decision making process. After taking these and other issues into account, a judge will then determine what type of maintenance will be ordered. Palatine maintenance attorneys will review all the couple’s documents and assets to determine how to approach the judge with the client’s best interest in mind.
A Palatine maintenance attorney will advise clients based on individual circumstances and situations. It is important to remember that rarely is maintenance permanent. Almost always, maintenance is a temporary and conditional situation. Constraints on maintenance include the age of the paying spouse, which is related to the paying spouse’s proximity to retirement, or any change to the recipient’s status such as remarriage. A Palatine maintenance attorney can help show how a maintenance agreement may be reached based on the recipient’s needs for professional or personal development and the time period that might be considered reasonable for maintenance allocation. Maintenance can be temporary, rehabilitative, or reviewable, and the maintenance attorney will explain what each of these situations means if a judge has ordered one.