What is Alimony?


The Reasoning Behind Alimony and Its Purpose

Often after a divorce, one spouse is ordered to pay alimony to the other spouse. Alimony refers to spousal support that is awarded to the unemployed or lower-wage-earning spouse. It lets the spouse enjoy the same lifestyle that he or she had before the divorce. The spouse who receives alimony, however, is expected to eventually become financially independent on their former spouse. Alimony can also enable that person to return to school to receive the necessary training to return to the workforce.


Determining the Amount of Alimony

A judge will consider a number of different factors before deciding on the amount of alimony to grant a spouse. For example, a judge may look to see what marketable skills the supported spouse possesses or how he or she contributed to the supporting spouse’s career. The length of the marriage and hardships on each spouse may also be considered before determining the amount of alimony.



The Benefits of Receiving Alimony

A person’s income can be dramatically reduced after a divorce. He or she may not be able to have the same lifestyle as before. For example, a person may not be able to live in the same neighborhood or eat out at restaurants as often. That is why alimony payments may be needed to meet your financial obligations. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of receiving alimony:


  • People who stopped working to raise children may require extra training and schooling in order to be competitive for jobs. With alimony, these individuals have the opportunity to go back to school or receive training so that they can return to the workforce.
  • The wife may have left the workforce to help her husband get farther in his career. She may have stayed home to take care of the children. The judge may appreciate the sacrifice the wife made and award her alimony.
  • Even after a divorce, it is possible for former spouses to still want the best for their ex. They realize that they might not be able to live the same lifestyle without the proper support. That is why many former spouses are perfectly willing to provide support to their ex.


A judge will carefully look at all of the factors in the divorce, the raising of the children and their lifestyle before deciding on the amount of alimony to award. Hiring an experienced professional  such as the Divorce Lawyer Peoria IL locals trust  is advised.

Smith & Weer, P.C.Thanks to authors at Smith & Weer P.C.  for their insight into Family Law.