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What Happens If I Get Divorced While Unemployed in Illinois?

 Posted on April 11, 2024 in Alimony

DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerGetting a divorce in Illinois requires planning. This is especially true when it comes to finances that will be affected by the divorce. People who dissolve their marriages often lose considerable amounts of money in the form of:

  • Child support

  • Spousal support, also known as alimony

  • Division of assets

If you get divorced, it is best to first make sure you are gainfully employed if possible. This will allow you to plan a budget for after the divorce and not sink too far into debt.

But sometimes, divorce is not up to you. If your spouse files for divorce and you are unemployed, consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can walk you through your options. 

Here are a few things to consider if you are unemployed and getting a divorce in Illinois.

It Matters Why You Are Unemployed

A very important factor that will affect your divorce is why you are unemployed — namely if your unemployment is voluntary or involuntary. If you are out of work by choice, a court may not let you off the hook when it comes to paying family maintenance. But if your unemployment is due to market changes or you were part of a mass layoff, a court may take that into account.

How Unemployment Can Affect Family Maintenance

When deciding on how to assign family maintenance, a judge will look at a host of relevant factors. One of those factors is the annual income of both sides. If you are involuntarily unemployed while your spouse is financially well-off, it may help the court decide to award you spousal support and child support, if applicable.

Keep in mind, however, many other elements go into a court’s decision when it comes to family maintenance. Illinois law also takes into account the length of the marriage, your standard of living during the marriage, the combined gross income of you and your spouse, and other details. Depending on these and other factors, the law places a cap on the amount of alimony you receive at 40% of the combined gross annual income of you and your spouse. 

You May Be Entitled to Assets

A general rule in Illinois law is that any assets and properties acquired by either spouse during the marriage should be divided in a divorce. There are exceptions to this rule, and asset division in a divorce is a complex area of law. But you may be entitled to marital properties that can help you during your unemployment period.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

Being unemployed while going through a divorce can be a particularly complicated situation. The first step is to consult with an experienced DuPage County, Illinois divorce lawyer who can help you understand what spousal support or marital property you might be entitled to. Call Fawell & Fawell at 630-871-2400 for a free consultation on how to navigate divorce while unemployed.

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