For divorcing couples who share children, custody arrangements, also referred to as the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, are often the most serious concerns that the parents have. However, it is also common for divorcing parents to worry about the financial implications of their divorce and how the courts will split up their assets.

A stay-at-home spouse, for example, may worry about their ability to maintain an independent household and whether child support will be enough to cover the cost of caring for the kids. A spouse who has pursued professional success may worry about whether an obligation to pay a substantial amount of child support and alimony will leave them unable to enjoy the same standard of living they have had during the marriage.

The Illinois family courts try to take a holistic view of family circumstances when making important decisions related to financial matters. Couples with children will find that alimony, child support and property division all influence one another during an Illinois divorce.

Illinois courts must look at the full circumstances for financial decisions

To ensure a fair outcome and to protect the rights of individuals across the state, Illinois family courts must be comprehensive and broad in their approach to financial decisions. When looking at how to divide up the marital assets, for example, the courts will need to look at the temporary custody order and any temporary support orders, including spousal support and child support.

In some cases, the courts can use one or more of these tools to balance out the others. For example, if your spouse has a substantial retirement account that they built up during the marriage, instead of splitting the account, the courts might order spousal maintenance for the duration of the payout of those benefits to make things more fair and even.

The amount of child support a custodial parent receives will impact how much alimony the courts will order, and both those forms of support can impact the other aspects of asset division as well. Separate property, earning potential and even who keeps the marital home can all influence support and property division decisions. The courts have significant discretion when it comes to creating unique solutions that will be fair for everyone involved.