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What does the court look at to determine spousal support?

In the state of Illinois, a number of personal details about your life and marriage may influence spousal support amounts. 

Learning what factors into this decision can help you determine if the final amount you pay is appropriate. 

Earnings

According to FindLaw, support laws generally take into account the past work histories of both parties. Alimony amounts vary greatly, depending on each individual’s case and how many years he or she has spent in the workplace. 

The needs of both parties and the length of the marriage influence the final number. It is a requirement to report all areas of income you receive, even money from disability and retirement. 

Education or childcare

The amount of your alimony payment includes the future earning capacity of both spouses. In cases where a spouse stayed home to raise any children the couple has, he or she may find that it is harder to find a job that provides the same standard of living after a divorce. 

Similarly, if one spouse postponed a career in order to work on a college degree, the other spouse usually financially supports them during that time. Both these circumstances greatly influence support amounts. 

Health and length of time

Other factors include reasons for potential health issues or age-related problems. Existing agreements between the two of you, along with any other factors the court states find, may also come into consideration. 

Rehabilitative spousal support is only in place for a short period of time, while some other forms of alimony are permanent. In a temporary case, the spouse seeking work should make a good faith effort to find employment that can reduce or eliminate the need for support.