When the court is determining whether or not a party is entitled to maintenance (which is also known as alimony or spousal support), the court will consider all of the below relevant factors:

(1) the income and property of each party, including marital property apportioned and non-marital property assigned to the party seeking maintenance as well as all financial obligations imposed on the parties as a result of the dissolution of marriage;
(2) the needs of each party;
(3) the realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
(4) any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage;
(5) any impairment of the realistic present or future earning capacity of the party against whom maintenance is sought;
(6) the time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or any parental responsibility arrangements and its effect on the party seeking employment;
(7) the standard of living established during the marriage;
(8) the duration of the marriage;
(9) the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties;
(10) all sources of public and private income including, without limitation, disability and retirement income;
(11) the tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties;
(12) contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
(13) any valid agreement of the parties; and
(14) any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.

Jennifer R. Ward was selected to be on an exclusive panel in order to make a presentation on the topic of maintenance at the “Leaving a Long-Term Marriage” workshop produced by The Lilac Tree, an Evanston-based not-for-profit resource for women contemplating divorce. Ms. Ward’s knowledge on the topic, formal presentation and speaking engagement in this arena translates into her daily practice at Ward Family Law, LLC and benefits her clients tremendously. Since every case is unique, it is prudent to consult with Jennifer R. Ward or Tania K. Harvey when contemplating whether or not a party is going to be entitled to maintenance under Illinois law.