Alimony is something that many people want to discuss but may not know where to start. Alimony, better known as spousal support or maintenance, is based on formulas set by the state. However, the reality is that many couples are able to agree on an amount of alimony prior to divorce regardless of the laws or what they suggest the right amount of alimony is.

Spousal support or maintenance is about negotiation. Right now, the 2018 changes in alimony formulas in Illinois mean that many maintenance orders will be shorter than in the past. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also impacted deductions for alimony payments, which means that your ex-spouse won’t be able to write off the payments as a tax deduction. This all negatively impacts those who are meant to receive alimony to support themselves.

What should you do if you think you need spousal support after your divorce?

If you relied on your spouse’s income or have a lower salary than your spouse, maintenance might be available to you. Maintenance is generally designed to help you get back on your feet financially, but sometimes it can be permanent. 

Your attorney will talk to you about your budget and financial concerns before you decide if seeking spousal support is necessary. If so, your attorney will help you negotiate with your spouse to get the best arrangement in place for your needs. The court can make the order binding, generally guaranteeing you compensation for a period of time after the divorce.