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Chicago Lawyers Answer Maintenance FAQs

What is maintenance? Who pays it and who gets it?

If there is no set formula, how does a court decide how much is paid and to whom?

How long does maintenance last?

What if I don't agree with the maintenance set by the court?

How can legal representation help me?


Q: What is maintenance? Who pays it and who gets it?

A: Maintenance used to be called alimony or spousal support and consists of money paid from one spouse to the other. There is no set formula in Illinois regarding who gets maintenance or how much. It is possible that a judge may set no maintenance in the Illinois divorce judgment.

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Q: If there is no set formula, how does a court decide how much is paid and to whom?

A: The court will look at factors such as the length of marriage, the lifestyle the parties enjoyed during their marriage, the amount of time a spouse has been out of the workforce, disparities in the parties' abilities to earn income, and retraining or education required to enable a spouse to reenter the workforce. If one spouse worked and the other didn't during the marriage, a judge will likely award maintenance to the unemployed spouse because he or she will now have to find a job, or possibly even go back to school in order to become qualified to enter the workforce. The court makes its decision on what they believe is in both parties' best interests, based on the evidence and testimony during the divorce hearing.

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Q: How long does maintenance last?

A: Maintenance can be temporary, rehabilitative, reviewable or permanent. Generally a spouse's obligation to pay maintenance terminates at retirement age. The court's goal is to allow both parties to maintain a similar standard of living to that which they enjoyed during their marriage.

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Q: What if I don't agree with the maintenance set by the court?

A: You may file a petition to modify the maintenance order, but there is no guarantee that your request will be granted. It is best that both spouses come to an agreement and schedule concerning maintenance privately if possible.

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Q: How can legal representation help me?

A: Working with someone who has a critical understanding of the Illinois family court system will ensure that you are well informed of all possible outcomes in your divorce case. Our knowledgeable Chicago maintenance lawyers at Nottage and Ward, LLP can facilitate maintenance negotiations between you and your spouse if you would prefer not to leave it to the court, or we can represent you in court if negotiations are not possible. In either case, we will work diligently to achieve a fair outcome. If you are looking for legal advice or services concerning your divorce, call us today at (312) 332-2915.

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Chicago Maintenance Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for a consultation on your particular divorce matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Illinois.

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