December 31,2021

Divorce, Spousal maintenance

Goodman Law Firm

Four Types of Spousal Maintenance Awarded in Illinois

HomeBlogDivorceFour Types of Spousal Maintenance Awarded in Illinois

Out of all the primary terms of a divorce, spousal maintenance – or what you may think of as alimony – is one of the most complicated. The fact is that spousal maintenance doesn’t play a role in most divorces in Illinois, but when it is appropriate, it can serve as an important financial tool for the spouse in need. There are four basic types of spousal maintenance that are addressed in Illinois divorces, and If you have questions or concerns related to any of these, seek the professional legal guidance of an experienced Illinois spousal maintenance attorney. 

The Four Types of Spousal Maintenance

In an Illinois divorce, there are basic categories of spousal maintenance, including:

  • Temporary spousal maintenance
  • Fixed-term spousal maintenance
  • Reviewable spousal maintenance
  • Permanent spousal maintenance

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Temporary spousal maintenance refers to financial support that is awarded to a divorcing spouse in an effort to help maintain the financial status quo while the divorce is pending, and this maintenance ends when the divorce is finalized. Temporary spousal maintenance is generally reserved for those situations in which the couple lives separately during the divorce process, and requests for this type of support should generally be included in the initial divorce filing of the spouse in need. 

Fixed-Term Spousal Maintenance

Fixed-term spousal maintenance is awarded with a specific end date in place, and it is intended to allow the recipient the time necessary to gain financial independence post-divorce. This category of spousal maintenance tends to be appropriate in the following kinds of situations:

  • The spouse requesting maintenance gave up his or her career to raise the kids and assume the housekeeping responsibilities during the marriage. 
  • The spouse requesting maintenance supported the other’s pursuit of higher education during the marriage (while foregoing his or her own)
  • The spouse requesting maintenance needs to pursue further education, job training, or experience in order to earn at a level that supports the standard of living achieved in the marriage

Reviewable Spousal Maintenance

Reviewable spousal maintenance is similar to fixed-term spousal maintenance, but no specific duration is set. Instead, its duration is subject to the court’s periodic review. 

Permanent Spousal Maintenance

Permanent spousal maintenance – often called indefinite spousal maintenance – is awarded for the duration of the recipient’s life (barring specific circumstances that require its termination). This long-term maintenance is usually only awarded after a long marriage (of at least 20 years) in which the recipient’s age, health, or some other circumstance leaves him or her unable to achieve financial independence.   

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Illinois Spousal Maintenance Attorney

If you are facing a divorce that involves the complicated issue of spousal maintenance, Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm is an accomplished Illinois spousal maintenance attorney who takes great pride in his impressive track record of protecting the financial rights of clients like you. We’re on your side and here to help – so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.


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