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How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Illinois Divorce Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in DuPage County divorce lawyer

DuPage County, IL spousal support attorneyA divorce is never an easy decision, and for many, it can turn their entire lives upside down. Years ago, spousal maintenance (then known as alimony) was a rather common thing that was typically awarded to women who were getting divorced. Now, with more women in the workforce, the number of women receiving spousal maintenance has dropped, while the number of men receiving spousal maintenance has slightly increased. Spousal maintenance is still a rather common issue during Illinois divorces that must be decided before the divorce can be finalized.

Calculating the Amount for Maintenance Payments

If the judge determines that a maintenance award is, in fact, appropriate, he or she will use the maintenance guidelines to determine the amount of spousal maintenance to be paid. The Illinois maintenance guidelines apply to any couple whose combined annual income is less than $500,000 and when the payor does not have any other obligations to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance from a previous marriage.

The amount of maintenance to be paid is determined by taking a portion of the payor’s income and subtracting a portion of the receiver’s income from it. The formula for calculating the maintenance amount is as follows: 33.3% of payor’s income minus 25% of the receiver’s income equals the yearly spousal maintenance amount. To determine the monthly amount for maintenance payments, you would simply take the amount for yearly maintenance payments and divide it by 12.

Duration of Payments

Most of the time, the number one question spouses have is, “How long will the payments last?” In Illinois, determining the length of time during which spousal maintenance will be paid is fairly simple: It directly relies on how long the marriage lasted. Typically, the longer the marriage, the longer you will receive spousal maintenance. In some cases, spousal maintenance may even be ordered to be paid indefinitely. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) contains a list of multiplying factors to be used in this calculation. The duration of the payments can be found as follows: Length of the marriage (in years) times multiplying factor from the IMDMA equals the duration of maintenance (in years).

Example Case

Kevin and Heather have been married for 19 years, but are now getting a divorce. Heather went to college to be a nurse but sacrificed her career to stay home and raise the couple’s three children. Heather has not been in the workforce for at least 15 years, so she has petitioned to receive spousal maintenance from her husband, who is an engineer. Kevin’s annual income is $155,000. Because Heather does not have any income of her own, the amount of spousal maintenance to be paid is as follows: 33.3% of $155,000 minus 0 equals yearly maintenance award of $51,667. $51,667 divided by 12 equals monthly payments of approximately $4,306. Because the couple was married for 19 years, the duration of the maintenance payments is as follows: 19 years times multiplying factor of .80 equals 15.2 years.

Contact a Kendall County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

A divorce can be emotionally and financially difficult. If you are getting divorced, and you believe that you should receive spousal maintenance, getting in touch with an Oswego divorce attorney is crucial. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you figure out if a maintenance award is likely, and we can help you make sure all relevant factors are considered so that the amount and duration of maintenance payments are calculated correctly. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.


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


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

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