Search Site
Menu

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

In Illinois, a family court may award spousal support — also known as maintenance — in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage or dissolution of a civil union. The court can determine that spousal support is justified based on either spouse’s financial need, without considering any marital misconduct or the reason for the divorce. But state law provides specific guidelines for how long spousal support is to be paid.

If the court decides that a maintenance award is appropriate, the duration of the award is determined by how long the marriage has lasted. The court’s order will require that spousal support be paid for a period of time equal to a certain percentage of the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the higher the percentage assigned and the longer maintenance payments must be made.

The assigned percentage starts at 20 percent (for a marriage lasting less than five years) and increases by 4 percent for every year. For marriages of 20 years or more, the court can order that spousal support be paid for a term equal to 100 percent of the length of the marriage or for an indefinite term.

If the court orders maintenance payments be made for a fixed term, the order will state a termination date. Courts can also make a fixed-term maintenance order reviewable, which means it can be re-evaluated before the termination date. If the court grants indefinite maintenance, then support payments will continue until the order is modified or terminated.

Spousal support orders can be modified due to a change in income for either party or to another significant occurrence. In addition, payments may be ordered to end early in defined situations, such as when the spouse receiving payments remarries or cohabitates with a significant other or when either party passes away.

You should fully understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to spousal support before entering into any agreements during separation or divorce. Consult a family law attorney before making decisions about maintenance, property division, custody, parenting time, living arrangements or child custody.

The family law attorney at the Law Offices of Paul Chatzky has comprehensive experience representing clients in Illinois divorce proceedings before the court in Chicago, Skokie and in other suburban District Courts. We will counsel you throughout the process and work toward obtaining a fair spousal support order, whether you will be the party receiving or making payments. Call us at 847-416-1646 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

Paul Chatzky Attorney Photo
Paul Chatzky
Founder

Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As a…

Deborah E. Chatzky Attorney Photo
Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

Client Reviews
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Paul Chatzky is well educated, knows in and outs in terms of law, keeps everything under control, responds to emails, returns phone calls almost immediately. Very professional and extremely detail-oriented lawyer. Highly recommended.

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Chatzky is very responsive, ethical and effective. I’m extremely happy with the service and I would highly recommend this law office to anyone seeking legal help

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Chatzky is truly superb at his job. His knowledge base is profound, and he approached my situation with honesty and integrity. I knew immediately that he had every intention to obtain the best outcome for me and that he had thought of every possi...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I highly recommend Paul Chatzky as a high capable and honest attorney who genuinely cares about his clients and is highly committed to supporting their best interests. He lived up to the high expectations that I had and was willing as hard as me to m...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Paul Chatzky is always very responsive, professional, and a pleasure to work with.

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
AWARDS
Contact us

Quick Contact Form