Is There More Than One Type of Maintenance in Illinois?

Illinois has several types of maintenance: permanent, temporary and rehabilitative.

What is Temporary Maintenance?

While a divorce is pending, a court may award one spouse maintenance on a temporary basis.  The purpose is to assure that the more dependent spouse has his or her financial needs met.  Once the divorce is finalized, all temporary orders void.  However, the marital settlement agreement or judgment may include a separate award of maintenance, or none at all.

What is Permanent Maintenance?

Permanent maintenance is maintenance that is based on the receiving spouse in a long term marriage either having an illness, disability, or limited job prospects based on foregoing schooling, employment or other career advancement in order to stay home and care for the family.

What is Rehabilitative Maintenance?

Rehabilitative maintenance is designed to help a dependent spouse get back on his or her feet.  It can be for a set term or can be labeled as reviewable.  This type of maintenance is most commonly awarded to younger spouse who has job skills, but will require time to re-enter the job market.

Can Maintenance be Modified or Terminated?

It depends on the language of the marital settlement agreement.  Parties can agree to make maintenance non-modifiable.  If that is the case, then neither party can come in and claim any sort of change in circumstance that would increase or decrease the maintenance, even if the party receiving maintenance gets a better job.  Non-modifiable maintenance terminates automatically up death, cohabitation, or remarriage. While this may seem like it has no benefit for the spouse paying maintenance, it can actually make a big difference for tax purposes.  Maintenance is taxable to the receiving spouse and deductible for the paying spouse.  Non-modifiable maintenance provides certainty for both parties on one aspect of their future finances.  On the other hand, in the absence of an agreement making maintenance non-modifiable, maintenance can always be modified based upon a showing of a change in circumstances.  Death, cohabitation, remarried, or gainful employment are examples of changes in circumstance favoring termination or reduction in maintenance.  Illness or disability on the part of the receiving spouse might support and increase in maintenance.

What is Maintenance in Gross?

Maintenance in gross is a type of property settlement, rather than maintenance, that in non-modifiable.  One spouse is ordered to pay a lump sum to the other spouse.  The lump sum can be paid in installments over a period of time.  The major difference between maintenance in gross and other types of maintenance is that maintenance in gross awards are vested in full at the date of the entry of the order.  The order is non-modifiable despite any change in circumstances of the parties.  The statutory termination events do not apply to maintenance in gross. The obligation must be paid even if the recipient remarries, cohabits , or even if the obligated spouse dies or the recipient dies.

What Type of Maintenance is Best For My Situation?

As an experience divorce attorney I can help you weigh your options if you are the obligated spouse or the recipient.  If you are ready to get started exploring your options, you can call me now at 708-466-6912 or contact me online. I often meet clients in the evening and on weekends, and all clients get my personal mobile phone number.  Legal problems don’t take weekends off and neither do I.



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