Common myths concerning the subject of spousal support persist throughout American popular culture. For example, many Americans still believe that only men pay spousal support (commonly referred to as alimony), when in reality an increasing number of women are either opting to pay spousal support subject to the terms of a collaborative divorce settlement or are ordered to pay spousal support as part of a divorce order handed down by a judge. Similarly, many Americans believe that spousal support is only ordered when divorcing couples are wealthy and that spousal support orders cannot be modified. In reality, both of these urban myths are false.
Spousal support is a complex subject and is an issue treated differently in various states. In addition, spousal support questions are often resolved differently depending on any given couple’s unique circumstances. It is partially for these reasons that it is so important to consult an experienced Lake Forest, IL alimony lawyerwith your spousal support questions and concerns instead of making assumptions about your situation. Asking questions as they occur to you may help to ensure that your situation is resolved and/or modified in ways that are fair to everyone involved.
Spousal Support: The Basics
Spousal support orders help couples to divide marital property in an equitable way. Most of the time, property, income and other assets acquired during the course of a marriage are considered marital property. When a couple divorces, this marital property must be divided evenly. An experienced Lake Forest, IL alimony lawyer can explain how this division process may play out practically in your situation. Some couples choose to sell their assets and split the profits. But oftentimes, this is not the most intelligent approach a couple can take to property division. Sometimes it makes sense to divide assets evenly according to their value. And sometimes it makes sense for one spouse to retain ownership of a larger share of assets while the other spouse benefits from spousal support payments.
Once a spousal support payment order has been put into effect, it may be modified under certain circumstances. A Lake Forest, IL alimony lawyer can assist you if you believe you may be eligible for such a modification. For example, if the individual charged with paying spousal support suddenly becomes disabled and is no longer able to work, an order may be modified in order to better reflect the current financial realities of both parties. Similarly, spousal support orders rarely last until both spouses pass away. Nowadays, spousal support tends to continue for a set period of time and/or until a life event (such as the remarriage of the individual receiving support) renders the obligation of one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony complete.
Spousal Support Guidance Is Available
If you have questions or concerns about spousal support, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois alimony lawyer at your earliest convenience. Speaking with an attorney in this way is a confidential process, so you need not feel shy or hesitant about voicing your concerns and asking any questions you may have. Whether you are thinking about divorce, are currently navigating one, are considering a modification to existing spousal support orders or believe you may no longer be obligated to pay/eligible to receive spousal support benefits, the team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLCcan help to clarify your situation and advise you of your options.
Temporary Spousal Support: Understanding Alimony Pendente Lite
The divorce process is notoriously slow. Some states purposefully insist that couples wait for a period of time before their divorces can become finalized. But even without intentional delays in place, it takes time for the legal steps of the divorce process to unfold and resolve.
The lengthy nature of the divorce process may be particularly unnerving for spouses whose financial future remains unstable until spousal support orders are formally issued. Not knowing how much one may owe or receive can be frustrating when trying to make ends meet in a newly single household. Thankfully, a mechanism exists that may help spouses struggling with this particular reality. Temporary spousal support, also known as alimony pendente lite, may serve as a means to adjust to spousal support obligations and to remain financially aware throughout the remainder of the divorce finalization process. It is not automatically granted and must be formally requested by one of the divorcing spouses before it will be approved. As a result, if you have questions about this process, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation with a Lake Forest, Illinois alimony lawyer. The legal team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLC has extensive experience with spousal support matters and would be happy to assist you.
How Temporary Spousal Support Works
Just as courts often issue temporary child custody and child support orders while the divorce process unfolds, they also often issue temporary spousal support orders. These temporary orders carry the weight of legal enforcement that permanent orders do, but they are only issued temporarily because not all circumstances are yet understood by the court and all argumentation related to each spouse’s needs has yet to be made. Temporary spousal support allows a still-married couple’s finances to adjust to being newly divided. This arrangement helps to ensure that neither spouse is left without necessary income while a property division settlement is still being negotiated by your Lake Forest, Illinois alimony lawyer.
It is important to understand that like permanent spousal support orders, temporary orders may generally be modified if the economic circumstances of one or both spouses changes dramatically while the orders remain in effect. For example, if one spouse suddenly becomes disabled and must begin living off of Social Security Disability benefits, that may serve as grounds for a modification in support. However, modifications are not enacted unilaterally. A court must approve of a modification petition before a spouse may either start paying a different amount or expect to receive a different amount than has been ordered. Failure to pay an ordered amount until it has been officially modified may result in significant legal consequences.
Spousal Support Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about spousal support, please consider speaking with an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois alimony lawyer. Spousal support orders may generally be modified when one or both former spouses experiences a significant change in circumstances. But temporary, long-term and modification orders are all affected by variations in state laws and the specific circumstances of those spouses involved. As a result, it is generally a good idea to seek legal guidance if you have questions or concerns about spousal support at any point in time. Once a Lake Forest, Illinois alimony lawyer learns about the specifics of your situation, he or she will be better placed to advise you of your legal options and assist you with any legal actions you may ultimately choose to take.