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Determining alimony in Illinois courts and beyond

Among the issues often disputed and/or mediated during divorce are those involving who will get custody of the children, how various items of property will be divided and valuations of businesses owned by one or both spouses. Additionally, it is common for the court to render decisions regarding alimony, including how much will paid to whom and by whom. Every state, including Illinois, has its own laws that determine what factors are to be taken into consideration when setting payment amounts for alimony.

The estimated potential monthly earnings of each former spouse is typically one of the determining factors used to make decisions about alimony payments. The court will usually also take a look at what each person's monthly expenses will be and whether an alimony payment will provide the means to maintain a lifestyle similar to the one the couple had before their divorce. State laws differ with regard to how certain standards are to be considered when determining the standard of living that was maintained during marriage.

Some states have provided, for instance, that if a couple made it part of their regular standard of living routine to put a certain percentage of income into a savings account, then that should continue to be part of the post-divorce standard of living. In Hawaii, however, the court has stated that it does not believe that the ability to save to increase one's net worth justifies an increase in alimony payments toward that end. It is important for those facing similar legal issues to know what the laws are in their individual state.

In order to clarify Illinois state law on matters of alimony and factors that determine standard of living, residents can consult a legal professional who is experienced in matters of family law. Amount of alimony can affect a person's private, as well as business lifestyle after divorce. Acting under the guidance of a lawyer will ensure disclosure of all available options with regard to working toward a settlement that is agreeable to all involved.

Source: divorcenet.com, "How a Judge Decides The Alimony Amount", Roderic Duncan, Accessed on Aug. 26, 2015

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