Permanent or life-long maintenance (formerly referred to as “alimony”) may be awarded to a spouse in an Illinois divorce. Unlike child support, there is not a statutory formula for calculating the amount of maintenance to be paid. When deciding the amount and duration of maintenance, Illinois courts consider 12 statutory factors. One of the 12 factors considered is the duration of the marriage. Permanent maintenance awards are more likely if the marriage is 20 years or longer in duration but permanent maintenance is still a possibility even in relatively short marriages if there are sufficient facts. Also considered are the age, physical and emotional condition of the parties. Other factors taken into account are the earning capacity of each of the parties and whether the party seeking maintenance reduced his or her earning capacity due to the marriage. The amount of maintenance a bread winner may have to pay can be one of the most significant financial issues. The amount and duration will depend upon the particular, detailed facts of the case, the judge assigned to the case and even the county in which the divorce is pending. No two divorces are identical so maintenance awards can vary significantly depending upon the specific facts. Also, most divorce cases are settled and not tried so the parties often come to an agreement regarding maintenance. If you have questions about maintenance or other Illinois divorce issues, call the Chicago divorce attorneys at The Witt Law Firm, P.C. at (312) 500-5400 or email The above blog post does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your jurisdiction.