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How Does Spousal Maintenance Work in Illinois?

 Posted on November 14, 2023 in Spousal Maintenance

DuPage County divorce lawyerKnown as alimony in most other states, spousal maintenance is meant to support one spouse during or after a divorce is finalized. The reasons for a spousal maintenance order will vary, but generally, it is to maintain their current standard of living. Only in extreme cases will spousal maintenance be granted indefinitely. To better understand the reasons for spousal maintenance, you should consult an attorney with experience in divorce cases.

Types of Spousal Maintenance

  • Temporary Support: Typically only awarded while a divorce case is still pending. It enables the low-earning spouse to maintain their current financial status during the divorce process.
  • Fixed-Term Support: Support granted for a set duration in which the paying spouse makes consistent payments to the low-earning spouse to keep them “afloat” while they work toward building themselves up financially. It usually lasts until the low-earning spouse completes job training or education. The court expects the recipient to make a good faith effort toward the completion of their educational goals or achieving self-sustaining employment.
  • Reviewable Support: Similar to a fixed-term support order, the recipient must show proof of their continued efforts toward self-sustainment.
  • Permanent Support: Granted in rare cases to spouses who cannot support themselves. This could be due to illness, injury, age, or other factors in a long-term marriage of at least 20 years.

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?

Illinois follows a basic formula for determining the total payment costs of spousal support. The formula takes 33 percent of the payer’s net income and subtracts 25 percent of the recipient’s net income. This provides the total for the yearly spousal maintenance payments. However, the recipient cannot receive more than 40 percent of the couple’s total combined net income.

How long spousal maintenance lasts is predicated predominantly on the duration of the marriage. Another formula is used in this case, similar to payments, except it takes the total years of marriage and multiplies it by a set percentage. Marriages of less than five years will be X years multiplied by 0.20.

An example would be a couple who was married for three years, which would be 3 x 0.20 = 0.6 or 60 percent of a year—each year after five, the percentage increases by 0.04. So, a couple married for 15 years would render a spousal maintenance support duration of 9.6 years (15 x 0.64 = 9.6). A judge can choose to increase or decrease the allotted time of spousal maintenance at their discretion.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney

Whether you are expecting to receive or pay spousal maintenance, an experienced Naperville, IL divorce lawyer can help you understand the results. Calabrese Associates, P.C. has helped clients through divorce for more than 20 years. Contact the office at 630-393-3111 for answers to spousal maintenance or other legal matters concerning divorce.

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