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How is Spousal Maintenance in Illinois Calculated?

 Posted on May 21, 2019 in Divorce

Cook County divorce lawyers

Divorce can disrupt the lives of those involved in many ways. Mental health professionals say it is among the most traumatic emotional experiences a person can endure. It can also provide a significant change in an individual’s financial situation. In most cases, where there were once two incomes supporting a single household, the former spouses must now maintain separate residences and lives on their income alone.

While this may not impact a high-earner, it can have a major effect on someone who does not make a large salary. That is where spousal maintenance comes in. Also known as spousal support or alimony, spousal maintenance is a recurring financial payment from one former spouse to the other to offset the loss of income for the lesser-earning individual. While often temporary, it gives that person a chance to build their career so they can eventually support themselves.

Spousal Maintenance Calculator

A change to existing law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019 modified how spousal maintenance is figured in Illinois. Maintenance payments are now computed by subtracting 25% of the net income of the recipient from 33.3% of the net income of the person paying support. The net income of the payee and the maintenance amount cannot be more than 40% of the former spouses’ combined net income. If that occurs, the support amount will be adjusted downward.

As with most divorce-related matters, divorcing spouses can determine spousal maintenance via negotiation through their attorneys, or if an agreement cannot be reached, by leaving it up to the court. Factors considered by the court in deciding support payments include:

  • Income, property, and needs of each former spouse;
  • Present and future earning capacities;
  • The established standard of living the couple had while they were married, and the duration of the marriage;
  • Whether the spouse who seeks maintenance contributed to the education or career trajectory of their former partner;
  • The time it may take for the maintenance recipient to obtain education, training, and employment so they can become self-supporting;
  • How the maintenance obligation may impact the person paying; and
  • Potential tax consequences of marital property division.

Contact an Oak Park Divorce Lawyer

Whether you will likely pay spousal support or receive it, you deserve a fair amount. The skilled family law attorneys at Wakenight and Associates, P.C. can help you get the divorce agreement and settlement that will help you begin the next chapter of your life. For a free consultation with a Cook County divorce attorney, call us today at 630-528-0734.


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