As you prepare for you divorce proceedings in Bloomington, one thing you may be hearing from multiple sources is how (if your ex-spouse was the primary income earner in your home) you will be entitled to alimony. This assumption is likely due to many perceiving alimony to be some form of punishment that is inflicted on one side of a divorce case. In reality, however, alimony is only meant to be a temporary source of assistance, and this is only if the court deems it is even needed.
So how are you to know if alimony will even be considered in your case? Section 5.504 of Illinois’ Compiled Statutes says that the court considers the following factors when determining whether to award alimony:
- Yours and your ex-spouse’s income, assets (including those apportioned to each of you in the divorce) and any liabilities your divorce settlement has left either of you with
- Each of your individual needs
- The realistic and present earning capacity of each you (as well as any impairments or obligations that might impair either of you from securing gainful employment)
- The duration of your marriage and the standard of living you achieved while still together
- Any sort of public or private assistance (including disability and retirement) either of you may qualify for
- Any sacrifices or contributions you made to your ex-spouse in helping to support their career
If after considering these factors, the court decides to award you alimony, your ex-spouse will likely only be required to pay it until you either re-marry or are able to re-enter the job market with the skills needed to find a job that provides you with an income that permits a similar standard of living to that which you had previously.