The Chicago Family Law Blog

Alimony in Chicago

Unless both partners earned the exact same salaries during a marriage and have identical earning potentials following a divorce, the break-up of a marriage usually leaves one party less well-off than the other. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is intended to provide some financial equity following a divorce and limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce. The stay-at-home parent, who received no salary for his or her hard work, typically is the recipient of alimony from the family’s former breadwinner. Now that many households have two working spouses, especially in large cities such as the Windy City, spousal support is less clearly defined.

There are several different types of spousal support and a wide variety of ways it can be calculated and paid out. As a result of the myriad of ways alimony can be calculated, it helps to rely on the expertise of an Illinois family law attorney when seeking alimony.

Recently in Alimony Category

Former New York Giants football star Tiki Barber, who allegedly had an affair with a 24-year-old NBC intern while his wife was pregnant with their twin daughters, might be too broke to pay for the proposed settlement with estranged wife Ginny Barber, according to the New York Post.  

Perhaps it's a case of instant karma, but NBC recently terminated the former football star's $300,000-per-year contract as a "Today Show" correspondent. NBC said the decision was made before his alleged infidelity became public, but Today Show tends to appeal to viewers who would be more critical of a correspondent with questionable ethics.

Regardless, Ginny Barber is seeking $150,000 per month in alimony (also called spousal support).

Tiger Woods Divorce May Cost Him $500 Million

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The estimated $500 million to $600 million Tiger Woods may have to pay to estranged wife Elin Nordegren Woods to settle the impending Tiger Woods divorce, as reported by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker, certainly is a lot of cash. Worded another way, that's a half-billion dollars in alimony. 

But not only is golfing superstar Tiger Woods fabulously wealthy, with an estimated net worth in the $1 billion range, his alleged infidelity was so egregious that he may not have much legal leverage on his side.

At the risk of judging Tiger Woods in the court of public opinion, the sheer number of arguably shady women claiming to have slept with him and the release of text messages to mistresses detailing his preference for violent sex certainly won't help his case.

Dennis Hopper's Divorce Filings Allege Domestic Violence

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Illinois law does not require proof of fault before a divorce is granted, so long as the couple lived apart for two years and claims "irreconcilable differences," but divorce can happen much sooner if one party is able to prove the other was abusive, or otherwise at fault.

Since an abusive partner is a danger to his or her spouse, divorce attorneys in Chicago would say that the marriage should be dissolved as soon as possible.

Along those lines, the entertainment blog Popeater reported on actor Dennis Hopper's allegation that estranged wife Victoria Duffy "was trying to kill him." In fact, court papers cited in the article claim a pattern of abuse by Ms. Duffy extending beyond the couple's relationship.

Economic Health Of Men & Women Differs After Divorce

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Eighty percent of custodial parents are women and custodial mothers are twice as likely to live at or below the poverty line as custodial fathers, according to a report by the Center for American Progress entitled "The Straight Facts on Women in Poverty" (PDF).

Also, the standard 50/50 splitting of assets often leaves women broke for a number of reasons, according to certified financial divorce practitioner Carol Ann Wilson. Her article entitled "How to Help Older Divorcing Women Avoid the Bag Lady Blues" appears at the Encyclopedia Britannica's web site.

She explains how even the most highly polished divorce attorneys in Chicago sometimes overlook how the husband's career assets, such as health insurance and sick pay, impact finances:

Divorced women are swelling the poverty rolls. Why? The courts are trying to split the marital property 50/50, yet they traditionally overlook one major asset of a marriage: the husband's career.