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When Is Spousal Maintenance Awarded in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Naperville IL divorce attorneyGetting divorced can have a major impact on your finances. You will probably need to make a number of adjustments as you shift from managing a home using the income that you and your spouse earned together to using a single income to cover your ongoing expenses. If there is a disparity between the income you earn and the amount your spouse makes, this could introduce additional complications into your divorce proceedings. In these cases, spousal maintenance, which is sometimes referred to as spousal support or alimony, may be appropriate.

When Is a Spouse Eligible to Receive Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is not appropriate in every divorce, but it may be awarded if one spouse earns the majority of the family’s income or if the other spouse has been reliant on the wages and benefits earned by their former partner. For example, a stay-at-home parent may not currently earn any income, and their former spouse may be required to make ongoing payments to ensure that they can maintain their accustomed standard of living following the divorce.

Spouses may agree in their divorce settlement that maintenance will be paid, or the decision about whether to award maintenance may be left up to the judge in their case. This decision will be based on a number of factors, including the income each spouse earns, their ongoing needs, their ability to find work and earn suitable wages and benefits, and decisions about child custody and parenting time. A judge may also look at whether a spouse made sacrifices to their career because of the family or whether one spouse helped the other obtain education or training that helped them advance their career.

How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?

If maintenance is awarded, Illinois law specifies the formula that is used to determine the amount that will be paid. In this formula, 33.3% of the payor’s net annual income will be calculated, and 25% of the recipient’s net annual income will be subtracted from this amount. The total of the recipient’s income and the maintenance they receive cannot be greater than 40% of the parties’ combined net income. This formula applies in cases where a couple’s combined gross annual income is less than $500,000. For those with incomes above this amount, maintenance will be determined on a case-by-case basis based on what a judge considers to be appropriate.

Illinois law also provides a method for calculating the duration of maintenance payments. Support will be paid for a certain percentage of the amount of time the couple was married, and this percentage increases for each year of marriage. The obligation to pay maintenance will terminate at the end of this period, or it may be terminated if either party dies or the recipient gets remarried.

Contact Our DuPage County Spousal Support Attorneys

If you believe that spousal maintenance will be a factor in your divorce, Calabrese Associates, P.C. can advocate for your financial interests. We will make sure all factors related to spousal support are considered properly, and we help you address other legal issues as you work to dissolve your marriage. Contact our Naperville spousal maintenance lawyers today by calling our office at 630-393-3111.



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