Illinois’ Maintenance Laws & What You Need to Know

by | Feb 12, 2018 | Lawyers

As of 2015, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was modified in terms of how alimony or maintenance is calculated when a marriage ends. These new terms were put into place on January 1st of 2015 and have changed both how much maintenance may be considered in a case, as well as the direction that maintenance will carry on.

Modifications to the Act

Before the modifications were put into law, judges had quite a bit of discretion when it came to deciding on the amount and duration of maintenance that could be awarded in each divorced case. There were 12 different factors that they were expected to take into consideration to do so, but it was often difficult to know what might happen since the judge had the final decision.

Those factors are still around and they may be used in some circumstances today, but the guidelines have largely changed. Instead of giving judges total discretion, there is not a standardized formula that determines the proper amount and length of time a spouse may receive maintenance. However, it’s still a great idea to speak with Arlington Heights maintenance attorneys to ensure your calculations are correct.

Standardized Formula

The basic formula of calculation is 30% of the payer’s income minus 20% of the receiver’s income. This gives a number that is used as the amount of maintenance to be paid. However, the income of the person who receives these payments cannot exceed 40% of the combined income of both individuals.
The duration of maintenance is a little more complicated, so we’ll break down how that works below:

  • Length of the marriage from zero to five years is multiplied by 20%
  • Length of the marriage from five to 10 years is multiplied by 40%
  • Length of the marriage from 10 to 15 years is multiplied by 60%
  • Length of the marriage from 15 to 20 years is multiplied by 80%
  • Marriages longer than 20 years will have a court decision made about whether the maintenance period is the length of marriage or permanent

Exceptions to the Rule

When a divorcing couple has a gross income that is over $250,000, the new guidelines are not applied. The old 12 factors will instead be used to determine the amount of maintenance and how long it runs. Below are the 12 factors:

  • Needs of each spouse
  • Duration of marriage
  • Income and property of each spouse
  • Earning capacity of each spouse
  • Any impairment of receiving spouse that affects future or present earning capacity based on devotion to domestic duties or foregoing or delaying education, career, or training due to marriage
  • Time that receiving spouse would need to get suitable education and training to seek employment and whether they could continue established standard of living
  • Standard of living through the marriage
  • Age of each spouse, along with their emotional and physical condition
  • Contributions or services by the receiving spouse to career, education, or training to paying spouse
  • Valid agreements between individuals
  • Tax consequences of division of property
  • Any other factor judge finds just and equitable to determine maintenance.

Putting it all Together

This can all be a bit confusing but Arlington Heights maintenance attorneys can help. The Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. specializes in family law and divorce and can put you on the path toward your new life. You can reach the office at 847-380+-5193.

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