Schaumburg Alimony Lawyer
Are you going through a divorce in Illinois? Do you worry about your divorce proceedings and the potential of alimony payments? Are you familiar with alimony laws in the Schaumburg area?
If you are feeling burdened by these questions, our family law office understands. At the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C., we help guide people through the divorce process every single day. Mr. Robert Kaplan, our Schaumburg, IL family law attorney, has been advising his clients regarding the nuances of divorce and family law for decades. If you have questions about the role alimony will play in your divorce, we are here to help in Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, and the surrounding areas.
We have compiled more information about alimony in the paragraphs below, including answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. The following is meant to be a resource in helping you better understand alimony and the purpose it serves. This information is a general guide only, as the specifics of your situation may be different and you may need more in-depth counsel from a Schaumburg alimony attorney. If you need to retain an attorney and wish to enter into an attorney-client relationship where our law office can represent you in your divorce, please call the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan today at (847) 845-9477.
- What is alimony?
- Who gets alimony?
- Do alimony payments go on forever?
- Can alimony payments be modified?
What is alimony?
Alimony, commonly known as “spousal support,” refers to payments made by one spouse to the other spouse following a divorce. Spousal support is different from child support and is generally less well-understood because it is less common. While alimony is not an issue in every divorce, it comes up more frequently than some people think.
Clients going through a divorce are often surprised when alimony becomes an issue and by how alimony works. Spousal support is a legal obligation that is often court-ordered. If you are ordered to pay alimony or receive alimony from your ex-spouse, it is important to take this obligation seriously. Judges have been known to enforce financial penalties or even place those in contempt of paying alimony in jail temporarily!
At the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C., we are committed to seeing that alimony is handled fairly in your case. We also take great care in addressing alimony as it relates to property division because the two issues are almost always intertwined. We are here to be a resource for you and to help you navigate what can sometimes be a very confusing process. Do you have questions about alimony, your divorce, or your financial situation? Give Schaumburg alimony attorney Robert M. Kaplan a call to schedule a free legal consultation at our law office.
Who gets alimony?
Alimony is a tool that is used to ensure that both spouses leaving a marriage after divorce do so on equal footing. For this reason, alimony payments are not ordered in every divorce case—only in situations where one spouse cannot meet their financial needs without help and support from the other spouse.
In some cases, both spouses have full-time careers and have been making similar salaries. Alimony tends to be unnecessary in these situations. Additionally, if the marriage was unusually short, a judge may choose not to award alimony.
In other cases, one spouse has served as the breadwinner, building his or her career and making an income to support the family, while the other spouse has either stayed at home to raise the family or worked a part-time or full-time job with a considerably lower income. The spouse who has not been the primary breadwinner will likely have a difficult time after the divorce because he or she will need to support themselves and any potential minor children who are also affected by the divorce.
Often, the spouse who has stayed home or worked a lower-income job may not have a solid work history or as much education as the breadwinning spouse, which can make it harder to re-enter the workforce and to obtain a high-paying job that can support the family.
Alimony is designed to help level the playing field and assist this spouse as he or she begins their post-divorce life and starts the next chapter of their career. We talk more about the specifics of alimony in the next section, “Do alimony payments go on forever?”
Do alimony payments go on forever?
The simple answer is, “sometimes, but not usually.” As we discussed above, the purpose of spousal support payments is to financially assist a dependent spouse while they get back on their feet after a divorce. In some cases, a spouse must be supported by their ex-spouse indefinitely. In many cases, however, alimony payments are temporary.
Alimony can either be ordered by a court or mutually decided upon by the spouses either during mediation or completely on their own. Occasionally, spouses will agree to terms of spousal support without the help of a legal professional. More often, however, the court will get involved, and a judge will calculate the amount of alimony one spouse must pay the other. Alimony is often ordered in payments or installments but can also be ordered as one lump sum.
After a divorce is finalized and the dependent spouse begins receiving alimony, that spouse must make reasonable efforts to start supporting themselves. For many people, this means reentering the workforce, searching for a full-time or higher-paying job, or going back to school to receive additional formal education. The dependent spouse is required to take steps to increase their earning potential and to become more independent of their ex-spouse. Sometimes, the court will even hire a vocational evaluator to help determine what professional skills a spouse has to offer and how potential employers will value those skills.
Sometimes, alimony payments will continue until minor children come of age or begin going to school full-time during the day, which allows the dependent parent to begin working more hours. If a divorce occurs around the age of retirement, or if the dependent spouse has a permanent physical or mental disability, alimony payments can be permanent.
If you have been ordered to pay alimony, or if you are the dependent spouse who will be receiving alimony payments, it is best to consult a spousal support attorney in Schaumburg to make sure the payments are fair and have been properly calculated. If you would like to speak with our knowledgeable Hoffman Estates family law lawyer, Robert M. Kaplan, contact our law office today at (847) 845-9477.
Can alimony payments be modified?
In certain situations, alimony payments can be changed. This is often necessary if one spouse, particularly the spouse receiving alimony, gets remarried, or becomes disabled. It also may be necessary in cases of new jobs or loss of jobs.
It is important that, at the time of your divorce, the correct language be included in your marital settlement agreement to provide for such a potential situation. At the time of your divorce, we will see that the necessary language is included, and if a change needs to be made later on, we can help you make it.
Schedule a Free Legal Appointment Today in Schaumburg
When you meet with attorney Robert M. Kaplan to discuss your divorce, he will ask you questions to learn more about how alimony may factor in your situation. He will need to know about your current employment status, your annual salary, your professional skills and education, your health, your career prospects and goals, your monthly expenses, and your standard of living within your marriage.
The laws regarding spousal support payments are different depending on the state you live in, so it’s important to have an attorney who truly understands family law in Illinois on your side. If you need advice regarding your divorce and you live in the greater Chicago area, including Hoffman Estates, Rollings Meadows, and Schaumburg, don’t wait to contact us.
At the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, we offer free legal consultations to potential new clients. To discuss your spousal support in Schaumburg, contact our attorney today.