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Chicago Maintenance Lawyers

Maintenance and Divorce in Chicago

Illinois law permits courts to order maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, under appropriate circumstances after a divorce. Maintenance consists of money paid from one spouse to the other, usually for basic needs like housing, food, and education. The payments come "from the income or property" of the paying spouse. Maintenance may be temporary, reviewable, or permanent. It may be paid in a lump sum or in regular payments.

Since a judge may set maintenance at any amount or no amount, it is in both spouses’ best interests to agree on a maintenance amount and schedule privately if at all possible. The Cook County maintenance attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP have solid negotiation experience to represent your needs and provide a strong and objective position from which to arrive at a fair maintenance amount. If negotiation is not possible, our attorneys will take your case to the next level and represent you in court.

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What Affects Maintenance Payments?

When deciding to grant maintenance, Illinois courts do not consider whether one spouse or the other has "misbehaved". For example, a court will not grant maintenance to one spouse because the other committed adultery. Illinois law requires courts to consider several other factors, however. These factors include:

  • The income and property owned by each spouse;
  • The financial needs of each spouse;
  • How much each spouse will likely be able to earn in coming years;
  • Whether one spouse needs to find education or employment to increase his or her earnings, and how long the education or job search will take;
  • The couple’s standard of living;
  • The age and health of each spouse;
  • The tax consequences of maintenance;
  • Whether one spouse contributed to the other’s ability to finish an education, enter or advance in a career field, or obtain specialized training, licenses, or degrees;
  • A valid agreement between the spouses regarding maintenance, such as a prenuptial agreement;
  • "Any other factor that the court expressly finds".

Maintenance in Illinois can be set up in different forms. Permanent maintenance payments are made until one spouse dies or another specific event occurs, such as the remarriage of the spouse receiving the maintenance payments or the retirement of the spouse paying them. Rehabilitative maintenance, on the other hand, consists of temporary payments that are intended to keep a spouse afloat only until he or she can finish school, complete training, and/or find a job that will allow the spouse to support him- or herself.

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How You Can Help Your Divorce Attorney

Divorce is a business operation that cannot be successful unless specific attention is paid to your financial future. Maintenance payments may play a key role in determining your financial stability during and after divorce. When you first consult a divorce lawyer, come prepared to your meeting with copies of your important financial documents. Include copies of tax returns, insurance policies, bank statements, investments, and information about you and/or your spouse’s salary, benefits, and retirement programs. These numbers will help your divorce attorney determine whether maintenance is appropriate and estimate a fair amount.

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Chicago Maintenance Attorneys Providing Aggressive Legal Representation

At Nottage and Ward, LLP, our Chicago family law attorneys are not known to back down when faced with a challenge. We have over thirty years of experience with complex maintenance and support issues and know how to stand up for our clients. We will help you understand where maintenance is appropriate, estimate a fair maintenance amount, and negotiate or litigate on your behalf. Schedule an initial consultation today at (312) 332-2915 to see if our representation is right for you.

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Client Reviews

Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

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Avvo Top Contributor Family Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer
Avvo Top Contributor Divorce Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer