How Spousal Maintenance and Division of Marital Assets Intersect

When a couple goes through a divorce, there are many issues that could arise. Two of the largest issues in a divorce are spousal support or maintenance (formerly alimony) and the division of marital assets.

Spousal Support, Maintenance and Alimony in Illinois

  1. The income and property of each party;
  2. The needs of each party;
  3. The realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
  4. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  5. The duration of the marriage;
  6. All sources of public and private income;
  7. The contributions and services of the parties seeking maintenance to the ability of the other spouse’s education or employment; and
  8. Any other factors the court finds just and equitable.

Amount and Duration of Spousal Maintenance

Dividing Property and Marital Assets in Illinois

  1. Each party’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, or increase or decrease in value of the marital or non-marital property;
  2. the value of the property assigned to each spouse:
  3. the duration of the marriage;
  4. the relevant economic circumstances of each spouse when the division of property is to become effective;
  5. Age, health, and occupation of each spouse;
  6. Whether the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance; and
  7. The reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income.

Calculating Spousal Support and Maintenance

For example, if one party earns all the income, but the other party has several non-marital assets, the Court should take that into consideration when awarding spousal maintenance. If the non-income-earning spouse can live a similar lifestyle off of the interest of her non-marital assets, then the Court may not award maintenance or may award less maintenance.

Maintenance and Property Division in Long-Term Marriages

For example, in Brankin v. Brankin, 967 N.E.2d 358, 361 (Ill. App. 2012), both parties had income sufficient to support themselves and substantial assets. The court, in this case, awarded the husband more of the marital assets but then awarded the wife permanent maintenance. The greater award of marital assets was due to the husband’s contribution toward the assets and his ability to maintain the assets. The maintenance award to the wife was based on the length of the marriage and the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage.

Focus on Factors Relevant to Your Divorce Case

If you are wondering about spousal maintenance and property division if you and your spouse divorce, it is important to get sound legal advice. Contact Anderson & Boback to speak with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about your situation and learn more about spousal support and division of marital assets.


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