The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

North Aurora spousal support attorney

Getting a divorce means a lot of changes will occur. One of the most noticeable is your change in income. Most married couples live and run their household off of two incomes. When you get divorced, you have to transition from sustaining a household under shared incomes to meeting your needs with your income alone. For spouses who have not worked during their marriage or who have recently entered the workforce, this can be problematic. People who make significantly less than their spouses may also be concerned about their ability to support themselves after divorce. In these cases, spousal maintenance may be awarded. But what happens when your situation does not fall under the normal guidelines for calculation?

Illinois Spousal Support Guidelines

There are a number of factors that can affect whether or not you receive a maintenance award. These factors can include the income of both you and your spouse, whether or not either of you were out of the workforce for a period of time, and each of your needs. If the court finds that an award is appropriate, and you and your spouse earn a combined income of less than $500,000, the court will follow normal guidelines. This means spousal maintenance will be calculated by taking 33.3 percent of the income of the paying spouse and subtracting 25 percent of the income of the receiving spouse. Maintenance will usually be paid monthly, but in some cases, it may be paid annually or in a lump sum at the time of divorce.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is always complicated, no matter how you look at it. There are many issues you must settle before you can finalize your divorce, one of those being the issue of alimony or spousal maintenance. In Illinois divorce cases, spousal maintenance is never guaranteed -- some people will ask for maintenance and not receive it, some will never even bring the issue up and some are actually awarded maintenance when they seek it. For some people, maintenance is a necessity to help them survive, at least for the first couple of months after the divorce. Illinois spousal maintenance laws changed starting January 1, 2019. These laws affect the way spousal maintenance is calculated, so it is important that you understand the changes if you have not yet finalized your divorce.

Old Maintenance Laws

Prior to 2019, spousal maintenance was calculated by taking 30 percent of the payer’s income and subtracting 20 percent of the receiver’s income. This was a valid calculation for any couple whose combined annual income was less than $500,000, though the total maintenance awarded was not able to be more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income when adding the payment to the receiver’s income.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are going through a divorce as a stay-at-home parent, you often have different things to worry about than if you were a working parent. Most of the time, stay-at-home parents sacrificed their careers or education to stay home and take care of the children. This can be problematic for them because stay-at-home parents typically rely on the income of their spouse to support the family. When you get a divorce, you find yourself being put into a situation where you must re-enter the workforce with little or outdated education and large gaps in your employment history. In these situations, spousal maintenance is used as a tool to keep you on your feet. Here are five steps you should take when you are a stay-at-home parent who is getting a divorce.

Gather All of Your Financial Documents

First things first -- you need to have all paperwork on your finances ready to present to a divorce lawyer. These documents can include:

  • Tax returns and W2’s from the previous three to five years;
  • Bank statements, including information on both checking and savings accounts;
  • Mortgage documents;
  • Vehicle titles;
  • Retirement account statements;
  • Credit card statements; and
  • Investment account statements.

Ensure You Have Access to Your Money

Some stay-at-home parents find that they do not have regular access to their family’s funds. If this is the case, you should make sure that you begin saving small amounts of money here and there to build up a reserve. One way around letting your spouse know you are saving money is by asking for cash back when you are at stores. If you have reason to believe your spouse might be hiding money from you, you should tell your lawyer who can help you discover it.

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alimonyUnlike child support, spousal support is not guaranteed in Illinois divorces. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have a child together, the spouse who has the child a majority of the time will receive child support payments, whereas it will be determined whether or not a maintenance award is even appropriate. Certain circumstances and factors are examined to make this determination, including the income of each spouse, any impairment of each spouse’s earning capacity, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living that was established during the marriage. Even if you are awarded a maintenance payment, the length of the award depends on a number of factors, as well. Length of Marriage Will Determine Length of Payments.

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the length of time you were married will directly impact the length of time you are paid maintenance payments. The Act outlines specific multipliers to use with the length of marriage in years to find out the duration of your payments. Examples of the multiplying factors include:

  • Less than five years of marriage to seven years of marriage: .20-.32;
  • Eight years of marriage to 10 years of marriage: .36-.44;
  • Eleven years of marriage to 13 years of marriage: .48-.56;
  • Fourteen years of marriage to 16 years of marriage: .60-.68;
  • Seventeen years of marriage to 19 years of marriage: .72-.80; and
  • Twenty years or more of marriage: Equal to the length of the marriage or indefinitely.

For example, a person that was married to their spouse for 16 years will receive payments for 10.88 years. When a maintenance order is entered, there must be an extreme change in circumstances for the duration or amount of maintenance paid to be changed. An Aurora, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Can Help

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If you are going through a divorce, you may wonder if you’re entitled to financial support from your spouse. Spousal maintenance is the term that the state of Illinois uses instead of alimony, though they are the same thing. In the past, courts viewed alimony as payments from the husband to continue his obligation to support his wife. Now, spousal maintenance is awarded to either spouse depending on a variety of factors.

Determining Factors for Spousal Maintenance Eligibility

When you seek maintenance from your spouse, the court will first determine whether or not you are eligible to receive these payments. In Illinois, eligibility determinations are based on these factors:

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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