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What Role Does Spousal Support Play in a Gray Divorce?

 Posted on July 31, 2023 in Divorce

Naperville Grey Divorce LawyerDivorce can be a challenging process, regardless of your age. However, if you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage later in life, you may need to address some unique financial and emotional considerations. The issue of spousal support (also known as alimony) may be a significant concern, and you may need to determine whether this form of support will be necessary, how much you may pay or receive, and how long these obligations will remain in effect.

Understanding Spousal Support

In some divorce cases, a court may determine that one spouse has a legal obligation to make ongoing payments to the other spouse after the dissolution of their marriage. Spousal maintenance, as it is known under Illinois law, is designed to help a spouse with a lower income or who has been out of work for an extended period of time continue living at a similar standard to what the couple enjoyed during their marriage. Spousal support can be awarded in both short-term and long-term marriages, but it can be a particularly important issue in a gray divorce.

In a situation where a couple has been married for a significant number of years and has built a life together, one spouse may have sacrificed their career or earning potential to support the other spouse's career or to take care of their family. When the marriage ends, the financially dependent spouse may face significant challenges in terms of income and financial stability. If the court determines that a spouse will not be able to support themselves on their own, spousal support may be awarded.

Factors Considered When Addressing Spousal Support

When determining whether spousal support should be awarded in a gray divorce, the court may take several factors into consideration, including the following:

  1. The length of the marriage: The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that spousal support will be awarded.

  2. The ages and statuses of both spouses: If one spouse is significantly older or in poor health, they may have a greater need for financial support.

  3. The income-earning capacity of each spouse: The court will assess the earning potential of both spouses and consider any disparities in income.

  4. The standard of living while the couple was married: The court will aim to ensure that both spouses can maintain a similar standard of living after getting divorced as they were used to while they were married.

  5. The contributions of each spouse to the marriage: This includes financial contributions such as earning an income, as well as non-financial contributions such as handling household responsibilities or supporting the other spouse's career.

  6. Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements: If the couple has a valid prenup or postnup agreement that includes decisions about alimony, the court will take these terms into account.

Types of Spousal Support

In Illinois, there are several types of spousal support that may be awarded in a gray divorce:

  • Temporary spousal support: This type of support is awarded during the divorce process to help the financially dependent spouse cover their immediate needs.

  • Fixed-term spousal support: This type of support is awarded for a specific period that is based on the length of the couple’s marriage. By receiving support for a limited amount of time, the financially dependent spouse may take steps to acquire education or training and become self-supporting.

  • Indefinite spousal support: In some cases, the court may award spousal support with no end date. If a couple was married for at least 20 years, or if the financially dependent spouse is unable to become self-supporting due to age, health, or other factors, indefinite support may be appropriate.

  • Reviewable spousal support: This type of support is subject to review after a certain amount of time. It may be awarded to help a spouse take steps to become self-supporting, and upon review, the court may decide to modify or terminate support payments.

Contact an Experienced St. Charles Spousal Maintenance Attorney

Going through a gray divorce can be overwhelming, especially when addressing financial matters like spousal support. It is crucial to work with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights. At Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group, our skilled Geneva gray divorce lawyers can help you understand the role that spousal support and other issues may play in your case, and we will advocate for solutions that will protect your financial interests.

Call us today at 630-634-5050 to schedule your free consultation.




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