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What Happens to Homemakers in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerRaising children is an important, difficult, time-consuming endeavor. When a couple gets married and wants to start a family, it is common for them to decide on an arrangement in which one spouse works outside the home and the other spouse stays at home with the children.

Although this arrangement may work well for some families, one common concern for homemakers is what will happen to them in the event of a divorce. The homemaking spouse has often given up many years of being in the workforce, and so has not only given up those years’ worth of income but also the time he or she would have spent building up their career.

Homemakers and Spousal Maintenance

Formerly known as “alimony,” spousal maintenance is payments made from one spouse to the other following the divorce. Spousal maintenance payments are separate from the asset division that takes place during the divorce, although they will likely be affected by the way that asset division takes place. Some of the other factors that affect spousal maintenance are:

  • The current income and future income earning potential of each spouse
  • Whether the future income potential was impaired by a spouse’s homemaking
  • The impact of spousal maintenance on the paying spouse
  • The standard of living the couple established during the marriage
  • Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • The length of the marriage and how long the homemaker spouse was out of the workforce

These guidelines establish that homemakers will almost always receive spousal maintenance. Once it is determined that spousal maintenance is appropriate, the court uses a predetermined formula to assess the amount of the payments.

Can a Homemaker Hire an Attorney with Marital Money?

In short, yes. Although spouses are typically responsible for the costs of their own attorneys, when a spouse has limited means of securing their own income, the other spouse may be required to assume some or all of the legal expenses of the homemaker spouse. With the help of a skilled divorce attorney, you may also be awarded temporary spousal maintenance payments in order to help you pay for the cost of the divorce.

Speak with a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you have been a homemaker and are worried about what divorce might mean for you, speak with a Hinsdale, IL divorce attorney. The lawyers at Botti Marinaccio have extensive experience advocating for people in complex divorce situations and will aggressively represent your interests. We pride ourselves on client service and will work with you to follow your preferences as closely as possible. Call us today for a confidential consultation at 630-575-8585.




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2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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