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How to qualify and apply for temporary spousal support during divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2022 | Divorce |

During a divorce, the ideal scenario involves both partners coming to an agreement on how to proceed in a way that is satisfactory to both parties. But if you and your spouse can’t reach a mutual agreement, it’s up to the court to decide how to divide your assets and move forward. Divorce can be a lengthy process, and you may need some help financially to get through this difficult time. While this process can be expensive and stressful, you can help soften the financial blow by collecting temporary spousal support from your ex-partner.

Permanent versus temporary spousal support

Illinois recognizes two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent. Permanent spousal support is a court-ordered amount of money that one spouse must pay the other for their financial needs. These payments are indefinite, meaning they will continue until either spouse dies or the paying spouse files for dissolution of marriage. However, Illinois also recognizes temporary spousal support, which is usually paid while the divorce proceedings are ongoing.

Applying for temporary spousal support

Illinois law states that one spouse may be entitled to temporary spousal support when the other party has been awarded the exclusive use and possession of the family home. The court can award temporary spousal support if appropriate, given the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the relative income and earning capacities of each party, and any order requiring one party to pay alimony.

In Illinois, you may be able to get temporary spousal support if you meet the following requirements:

  •  There must be a pending divorce or dissolution proceeding. 
  • The court has not entered an order for temporary spousal support. 
  • One party is unemployed or underemployed and lacks sufficient property, including any award of marital property made by the court, to provide for their reasonable needs.

Temporary spousal support and taxes

To avoid complicated tax implications, temporary spousal support should be paid for with a non-taxable form of payment. The most common forms are a cashier’s check, wire transfer, money order, or personal check. Temporary spousal support should never be paid for with cash, as there will be no record of the transactions.

Once the divorce is finalized

During a divorce proceeding, spousal support is temporary. It’s not intended as a permanent arrangement, and it ends when the divorce is finalized. The length of time might vary depending on the case, but temporary spousal support typically lasts for six months or less.