Alimony vs. Child Support

Alimony vs. Child Support

For many couples, navigating the process of divorce can be overwhelming. You may have many questions regarding alimony vs. child support and how these forms of support are determined. How does alimony work, and how long do you have to be married to get alimony? The skilled family law attorneys at Conniff & Keleher explore alimony and child support more in-depth in the guide below.

How Does Alimony Work?

Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is designed to help a former partner gain independence after the dissolution of marriage if that spouse would otherwise struggle financially following a divorce. In Illinois, spousal support is not awarded in every situation. There are several factors that must first be considered, which include the following:

  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s income and property
  • Each spouse’s current and future earning potential
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Employability of each spouse
  • Other sources of income

How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Get Alimony?

In Illinois, the duration of alimony depends on how long a couple was married. A judge still has the final say in how to award alimony.

DurationofMarriage (in years)Duration of Alimony
Less than 520% of the Marriage’s Length
5-624% of the Marriage’s Length
6-728% of the Marriage’s Length
7-832% of the Marriage’s Length
8-936% of the Marriage’s Length
9-1040% of the Marriage’s Length
10-1144% of the Marriage’s Length
11-1248% of the Marriage’s Length
12-1352% of the Marriage’s Length
13-1456% of the Marriage’s Length
14-1560% of the Marriage’s Length
15-1664% of the Marriage’s Length
16-1768% of the Marriage’s Length
17-1872% of the Marriage’s Length
18-1976% of the Marriage’s Length
19-2080% of the Marriage’s Length
20+100% of the Marriage’s Length or Indefinitely

What is Child Support?

Child support is the ongoing payment one parent makes to his or her former spouse to assist in raising any children the couple shares. Child support is intended solely to support the children, not the parent receiving the payments. Illinois child support guidelines use an “income shares” model, where the income of both parents is considered when determining support.

Here is how child support is determined in Illinois:

  • Calculate each parent’s net monthly income.
  • Combine each parent’s net monthly income.
  • Consult the schedule of basic support obligation based on the parents’ combined net monthly income as well as the number of children the couple shares.
  • Use the basic Illinois Child Support Obligation calculator to determine each parent’s individual share of the percentage.

A judge may also require additions to child support for expenses such as:

  • Health insurance
  • Unreimbursed health care expenses
  • Child care
  • Extraordinary medical or educational expenses
  • Extraordinary extracurricular activities

Contact Conniff & Keleher for More Information

If you still have questions about alimony vs. child support, we invite you to set up a consultation with the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Conniff & Keleher. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process with compassion and dedication to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Contact Us

We’re here to stand up for you and your child’s best interests. For immediate case review, please call us at (708) 763-0999.