What is a Homemaker Spouse Entitled to in an Illinois Divorce?
It is common for spouses to mutually agree that one will work outside the home, while the other stays home to raise children or manage the household. When couples in these situations divorce, the spouse who did not work for pay is often fearful about how they will support themselves going forward. Fortunately, Illinois courts consider the value of non-economic contributions made by a homemaker spouse during property division decisions.
Illinois law also offers opportunities to homemakers in the form of spousal maintenance. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer can help ensure that you take full advantage of these opportunities.
What Legal Protections Do I Have as a Homemaker During Divorce?
When a spouse has been out of the workforce for years, it can be difficult for them to fend for themselves financially. Courts will usually try to prevent a situation where one spouse is unable to support themselves and provide for their basic needs after getting divorced. If you gave up a career to devote yourself to homemaking or child-rearing, these options may be available to you:
- Spousal maintenance - Formerly called “alimony,” a spousal support or maintenance award can force the spouse who worked during the marriage to continue providing support to the homemaking spouse. The court will consider a variety of factors, including length of the marriage, the reasons one spouse did not work, and whether the homemaker spouse has the ability to reenter the workforce and earn a wage that would allow them to maintain their lifestyle.
- Marital property - Illinois is an equitable division state, meaning that all marital property must be divided in a way that is fair to both spouses. Marital property typically includes any income and assets obtained during the marriage. A non-working spouse is entitled to an equitable share of marital assets, including retirement accounts funded by the working spouse.
- Child support - When the homemaker spouse is awarded the majority of the parenting time, the parent is still entitled to receive child support from the working parent. The child should not suffer a lifestyle reduction due to the divorce. The amount of child support is determined by guidelines and looks at each spouse’s income, and how much overnight parenting time each spouse is granted.
If you are going through a divorce as a homemaker, it is important that you have your own attorney to protect your interests.
Speak With a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
MKFM Law is dedicated to protecting the rights of homemakers during divorce proceedings. Contact us at 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced St. Charles divorce lawyer. Our attorneys will strive to ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to in your Illinois divorce.