Men and women are closing the gender gap when it comes to education and earnings, making permanent alimony rare. However, some circumstances may justify long-term spousal maintenance. Among the factors considered for a favorable alimony ruling are lengthy marriages, age and health of the parties, and income earning potential. These may be considered as single factors or in combination when determining eligibility for extended alimony payments.
The overall picture of the marriage will often influence the award of permanent alimony. Marriages that have lasted 30 years or more, where one spouse has been financially dependent on the other, will be likely viewed more favorably with regard to permanent spousal maintenance. If one spouse is in poor health, disabled or is 50 years or older with limited earning potential, ongoing support is possible. A spouse that supported the primary breadwinner early in the marriage by helping out with career-related costs such as tuition or elected to give up a career to raise children has a strong argument for extended maintenance as well.
For couples that do not meet the criteria for permanent spousal maintenance, temporary alimony may be awarded. If one spouse’s job skills atrophied from disuse over many years or were non-existent, judges may award alimony for varying time periods to enable the once-dependent spouse to become self-supporting through education and job training. Judges ultimately decide whether alimony is called for in the first place, and if so, for how long. Many states call for the end to support when the dependent spouse remarries or begins living with someone who has sufficient earnings. In some states, alimony can be suspended when the paying ex-spouse retires, depending on the financial situation of each spouse.
If you would like more information regarding Illinois spousal maintenance, contact he Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss, LLC. proudly serving families in Lake County, Illinois with family law matters. Call today!