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3 Divorce Considerations for Stay-At-Home Spouses in Illinois

 Posted on April 05, 2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County family law attorneyGoing through a divorce can be both complicated and frightening for many couples. Choosing to dissolve a marriage is emotionally taxing, and the complex legal proceedings can leave some individuals feeling lost — especially stay-at-home spouses. It may seem to be common knowledge that the partner in a relationship who is the primary caretaker will be awarded more assets during the divorce. However, Illinois places a firm emphasis on an equal division of property between both partners. If you are a full-time parent or homemaker preparing for divorce, here are three financial factors to consider.

Requesting Spousal Support

Spousal support, maintenance payments, and alimony refer to the same concept — creating an income stream for the stay-at-home spouse following the divorce. When an individual does not have the means to be financially independent of their spouse, divorce can seem like a distant option. However, spousal support can provide monetary security for the home-based spouse. Spousal payments may be awarded if:

  • The stay-at-home spouse has been out of the workforce for a long time and is unable to find work following the divorce
  • The homemaking spouse is the full-time caretaker of the children and chooses to remain a stay-at-home parent
  • Spousal support payments are being used to counteract a financial imbalance between a separate division of property between the spouses

Spousal support payments may be awarded depending on the duration of the marriage. A marriage that lasts five years or less can result in spousal maintenance for one year. A five-to ten-year marriage may result in spousal support for four years. A longer marriage that lasted upwards of 20 years could result in lifetime spousal support payments.

Division of Proportions

As mentioned previously, Illinois emphasizes an equitable division of property. Equitable division does not mean splitting every asset in half. Typically, the court will review what each couple was awarded in the divorce and attempt to balance the worth of the assets between spouses. For example, if you are a stay-at-home parent who was not awarded the family home during your divorce, your spousal support payments may be more substantial. Likewise, if your spouse is taking on most of the debt payments following the divorce, you may remain in the home but receive less money in maintenance support.

Retirement Payments

Another factor for stay-at-home spouses to consider is preparing for retirement. Usually, the working spouse in the relationship will have a pension. The non-working spouse may still be entitled to these retirement benefits. If spouses begin a retirement plan during their marriage, that pension is considered a shared marital asset and can be divided equally between spouses.

Speak to a St. Charles Divorce and Family Lawyer

If you are a stay-at-home spouse preparing to divorce your partner, you may be feeling worried about how to support yourself in the future. At Weiler & Associates, Inc., our St. Charles divorce and family attorneys have experience helping individuals receive an equitable division of assets during a divorce and assisting stay-at-home parents in setting up their financial future. Please reach out to our office to schedule a consultation by calling 630-331-9110.


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