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Is it Possible to Fight an Alimony Petition in Illinois? 

 Posted on December 10, 2021 in Divorce

spousal maintenance lawyerOne of the most difficult issues divorcing couples struggle to agree about is spousal maintenance. Previously known as alimony, spousal maintenance or spousal support is money paid by one spouse to another after an Illinois divorce while the receiving spouse becomes financially self-sufficient. Spousal maintenance may be paid in a lump sum or in monthly payments over a set period. Sometimes, for long marriages, spousal support is ordered to last indefinitely.  

Spouses who are ordered to pay spousal support sometimes feel upset that they are giving money to someone they are not married to anymore. This may be especially true if one spouse is petitioning for spousal support to be a nuisance to their ex, not because they genuinely need the financial assistance. If you believe your former spouse is wrongfully petitioning for spousal maintenance and you want to fight their claim, the information in this blog may be helpful to you. 

When is a Spouse Obligated to Pay Spousal Maintenance? 

Although urban legends are full of bitter spouses who are driven to financial ruin by alimony payments, the truth is that spousal maintenance is not automatically granted after a divorce. Spouses in Illinois are encouraged to work cooperatively to decide on spousal maintenance payments together, but when this fails, a judge may intervene. When a judge is making decisions about spousal support, they consider many factors, including: 

  • Each spouse’s income and assets 

  • Each spouse’s debts and other financial obligations

  • The standard of living the couple shared during the marriage 

  • The education level and future earning potential of each spouse

  • The work history of each spouse, and, if the receiving spouse is currently unemployed, how long it would take them to find gainful employment

  • A disability or physical illness of either spouse that could affect future employment 

While the penalties of lying under oath are serious, some spouses falsify information about their finances to try to manipulate spousal maintenance in their favor. When this happens, the other spouse may be able to fight the spousal maintenance petition. 

Contesting a Spousal Support Order in Illinois

Certain factors can limit or eliminate the obligation for one spouse to pay alimony to the other. Some examples of these include: 

  • The marriage did not last very long

  • Both spouses worked and earned roughly equal incomes during the marriage 

  • The receiving spouse already has a sufficient income or assets and savings of their own

  • Spouses do not share children 

  • The receiving spouse can afford the marital standard of living on their own 

  • The receiving spouse is unemployed or underemployed by choice

  • The receiving spouse did not work during the marriage, but not because of reasons related to the marriage - i.e., they were unemployed because they chose to be, not because they were raising children or keeping house

  • The receiving spouse has remarried or is cohabitating with a new partner 

Meet with an Arlington Heights Alimony Dispute Lawyer

If you believe your spouse is wrongfully petitioning for spousal support, the law firm of A. Traub & Associates may be able to help. Our experienced Arlington Heights, IL spousal maintenance attorneys have helped clients fight inappropriate spousal support petitions and we will work hard to advocate for your rights. Call our offices today at 847-749-4182 to schedule your confidential consultation. 




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