Section 504 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act addresses maintenance. The Internal Revenue Service calls it “alimony” on tax forms, and it’s sometimes called spousal support.
Under the law, upon the entry of a judgment for dissolution of marriage (a divorce decree), one spouse may be entitled to maintenance, either for a specific duration of time or permanently. Before awarding maintenance to one spouse, the court must first determine whether an award of maintenance would be appropriate. Just because the parties have been married a long time or have disparate incomes,that does not necessarily mean one spouse is entitled to maintenance. Before the court may make a decision about how much maintenance is appropriate and for how long, the law requires the court to first decide whether maintenance is appropriate, after considering the following factors: