The Chicago Family Law Blog

Fixing Your Finances: The FindLaw Guide to Spousal Support

Life ain’t a chick flick. Remember the First Wives’ Club? Besides being wickedly funny, each of the three women had a relatively easy time putting their lives back together after divorce. Each ended up financially self-sufficient and helped their friends survive financially and emotionally while exacting brilliant revenge upon their evil ex-husbands. It’s too good to be true. The reality of a divorce for most women is probably closer to a Paula Cole song.

Pop culture aside, the question for dependant spouses of either gender is what will the future hold financially? While they may be happy to escape a diffiuclt marriage, most will not be happy to lose their financial support. Some have sacrificed their own careers to help their husband. Others have wiped noses and rears while their wives dominated as actresses and reporters.

Now they have to move on and become financially self-sufficient. The solution is spousal support.

FindLaw's (Free) Guide to Spousal Support discusses types of support, amounts, and how to set the process in motion. While most states won't award permanent alimony unless a spouse is disabled, they will order "rehabilitative" support that lasts until the spouse is able to become financially self-sufficient.

After you've gotten some background information on alimony from FindLaw, check out our post from earlier this summer that uses Paula Cole's lyrics to shed some light on Illinois' state specific rules on spousal support.

Much like the ladies of the First Wives' Club, you can't thrive after divorce without a little help from friends. In addition to the information you'll find in the above resources and on this blog every week, you might also want to check out our FindLaw Answers forum, where the community discusses each others' law-related questions. And of course, if that cheap jerk of an ex-spouse still won't pay up, you might need to contact an attorney to help you with the fight.

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