What is Alimony?

What is Alimony?

If you and your spouse have been considering divorce, you may have a lot of questions, especially regarding alimony, spousal support or spousal maintenance. At Conniff & Keleher, we understand that the process of divorce may seem overwhelming, but the support of a skilled alimony lawyer can go a long way in ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your family. What is alimony? We explore the basics in the guide below.

Definition of Alimony

What is alimony? It is financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other either during the dissolution of marriage process or afterwards, and is also referred to as spousal support. Its purpose is to provide the reasonable and necessary support to a spouse who is not financially independent after the marriage has ended.

How is Alimony or Spousal Support Determined?

The courts will determine whether alimony is necessary in a divorce case by looking at several factors. These factors include:

  • Any prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income and property
  • Each spouse’s financial needs
  • Each spouse’s current and future earning potential
  • Any other sources of public or private income
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Factors related to the employability of a spouse
  • Whether a spouse needing alimony is living with someone other than his or her spouse

You and your spouse can also reach an agreement on an amount for alimony which is reasonable but which may not necessarily be what a judge might order.

An alimony attorney can help ensure you receive the support you deserve after your divorce has been finalized.  

Is Alimony Permanent?

Alimony or spousal support can be temporary or permanent depending on the length of the marriage and a judge’s decision.  The parties can also agree between themselves on the duration of spousal support that is different from the duration that a judge may order, or from what Illinois statutes provide.  Illinois statutes list the percentages that are multiplied against the number of years a couple was married to determine the length of spousal maintenance.

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

Set Up a Consultation with a Skilled Alimony Lawyer

An alimony attorney can guide you through the process of petitioning for spousal support during a divorce proceeding. We invite you to set up a consultation with Conniff & Keleher today.

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.