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Recent Changes to Spousal Maintenance Laws in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

Tinley Park spousal maintenance lawyerIn many divorce cases, one spouse may be required to pay spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) to the other for a certain period of time following the end of the marriage. This typically occurs in situations in which one spouse earns a higher income, when a parent has chosen to remain at home to care for children rather than earn an income, or when one spouse helped the other obtain education or pursue career advancement. 

Spousal maintenance is meant to help a spouse continue living in the manner they were used to during their marriage while allowing them to become financially self-supporting. Spouses who expect to receive or pay spousal support after their divorce should be aware of some recent updates to Illinois law that may affect them.

Maintenance Amount

In Illinois, the amount of maintenance is determined by subtracting 20% of the recipient’s gross income from 30% of the payor’s gross income. This amount, when added to the recipient’s income, cannot be larger than 40% of the spouses’ combined incomes. 

While this method of calculating maintenance has not changed, it will now apply in situations when spouses’ combined gross annual income is less than $500,000, whereas it had previously only applied for combined incomes of less than $250,000. If spouses’ combined income is greater than $500,000, maintenance will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Maintenance Duration

The method for determining the amount of time that maintenance payment will last following a divorce has also been updated. Previously, the duration of maintenance was calculated for marriages based on five-year increments. Marriages which lasted between five and 10 years used one percentage, marriages of 10 to 15 years used another percentage, and so on. 

The law now breaks these percentages down into increments of one year for marriages which lasted between five and 20 years. For instance, in the case of a marriage which lasted between 10 and 11 years, maintenance will be paid for 44% of the length of the marriage, and in the case of a marriage which lasted between 11 and 12 years, maintenance will be paid for 48% of the length of the marriage.

For marriages of 20 years or more, maintenance will last for the full length of the marriage or for “an indefinite term.” Previously, the law stated that the court could order “permanent maintenance,” but following this change, maintenance is more likely to be paid for a specific number of years.

Contact an Orland Park Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

While the calculations used to determine the amount of maintenance are clear, divorce judges have a lot of leeway when deciding whether to grant maintenance to a spouse. At Anderson and Associates, P.C., we can advocate on your behalf during your divorce proceedings to ensure that the maintenance you pay or receive will meet your financial needs. Contact a Mokena divorce attorney today at 708-226-9904 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

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