No Gender Discrimination in Alimony

When people hear the word “alimony”, they usually picture an ex-husband writing out alimony checks to an ex-wife. But that isn’t always the case. According to new figures recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 28 percent of wives now earn more than their husbands, compared to 25 years ago when only 12 percent of wives earned more than their husbands. The new figures also revealed that in 23 percent of U.S. households, women are the sole breadwinners.

So how do courts determine who will owe alimony to whom, how much they will owe and for how long it will be paid? In Illinois, judges don’t consider who is at fault or any other marital ‘misconduct’. What they do look at is the financial needs of each spouse, and how the marital property will be divided between the two partners. The court also looks at the current and future earning capacity of each spouse.

The court may also consider how long it will take the spouse requesting alimony to obtain training, education and employment, especially if that spouse had put their career on hold to care for any children the couple may have.

Other considerations for alimony include how long the couple was married, the standard of living during the marriage, any valid agreements the couple may have had, and any other factors the court feels should be considered.

If you are involved in a divorce and feel you are entitled to receive alimony, consult with an experienced Kane County attorney to find out what legal options you may have.