The state of Illinois has specific factors it takes into account when determining spousal support. These guidelines include the income and property of each party, the needs of each party and the realistic earning capacity of each party. When making a ruling, a judge will generally consider the amount of support needed to help the petitioning party maintain the same lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage.
A judge will take into account the age, physical condition and emotional condition of any party requesting support. For example, a higher level of support may be ordered for an older person or someone who is unable to work. Other factors that may be taken into consideration include whether there are any children that need to be cared for. In a divorce case, the needs of a child are usually considered paramount to those of the parents.
The court may also take into account any other factors it deems relevant. In an effort to help both parties adequately partake in the divorce process, one party may be required to pay some or all of the legal fees for the other party. Many of the same factors used to determine spousal support will be used to determine whether or not such a request is granted.
A divorce may be an emotional time, and some people might wish to get the process over with rather than fight for everything they are entitled to. However, anyone going through the divorce process may find it helpful to hire a family law attorney to uphold their equitable property division rights. An attorney may be able to approach the case as a passionate yet rational third party, helping to ensure that their client gets everything they are entitled to under state law.
Source: Illinois General Assembly , “Part V Property, Support and Attorney Fees “, October 26, 2014