How to Ensure Alimony Payments in Illinois

 Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is a court-ordered provision where one spouse has to provide financial support to the other spouse during a separation and/or divorce. Depending on the court’s instructions, this payment may be paid in monthly installments or payable in one lump sum. The reason for alimony payments is to help ensure against unfair economic hardships.

Unlike child support, there are no state guidelines or formulas for the courts to follow. Typically, things such as the need for alimony, the ability of the spouse to pay, how long the marriage was, earning history of both parties, future earning capacity and division of other assets in the divorce settlement are all used to determine what, if any, alimony amount will be.

But just like child support payments, there is always a risk that future events or situations can occur that could delay or even stop alimony payments from being made. Loss of job, major illness or disability and death could put a halt on those monthly payments.

So what are some of the options that may be able to be negotiated into a divorce settlement to protect those payments?

One of those provisions can be life insurance. The spouse who is ordered to pay alimony should have a life insurance policy which names the spouse who is receiving the alimony as beneficiary. In the event of the payer’s death, those funds would go to the payee, replacing the alimony that would stop immediately upon the payer’s death.

Another type of insurance that can also be taken out is disability insurance. If an illness or accident should happen to the payer that prevents them from working, and there is no other income coming in, they couldn’t make their alimony payments. This would also allow them to request either a modification of the alimony payment, or even to remove the provision entirely. With disability insurance in place, the payee would still receive the monthly payment.

Annuities are another option that people consider when negotiating alimony payments. Typically, the payer makes one large payment into an annuity fund. They still retain ownership and control of the funds, but a monthly payment deducted from the annuity fund goes directly to the payee.

Negotiations of alimony, property division, child support and all the other issues that need to be worked out in a divorce case can be complex. It’s important to have an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable representing you and ensuring your get what you rightly deserve. Contact our office today to find out how our Aurora family law firm can help.

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