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How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Illinois?

Posted on in Spousal Support

Chicago divorce attorneysSpousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance, is designed to limit the negative financial consequences of divorce experienced by a lesser-earning spouse. In the past, husbands were almost always the payors of spousal support and wives were the recipients. However, as more and more women are becoming primary earners, orders of spousal support from ex-wives to ex-husbands are becoming more common.

In Illinois, courts have considerable discretion in determining whether or not to award spousal maintenance. Typically, statutory formulas determine the amount and duration of maintenance payments.

When Is a Spouse Entitled to Spousal Support?

If a divorcing couple has a valid prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that establishes spousal support terms, the court will typically uphold this agreement. If there is no prior spousal maintenance agreement, the court will consider a range of different factors when determining whether spousal maintenance should be awarded. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income, assets, and needs
  • Contributions to the marriage made by a spouse acting as a stay-at-home parent or homemaker
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The time needed for the spouse requesting support to gain the education, training, and employment needed to become self-sufficient
  • Contributions that one spouse made to the improvement of the other spouse’s career or education
  • The tax consequences of asset division during divorce

How Are Spousal Support Payment Amounts Determined?

If the court decides that a spouse is entitled to spousal support, statutory formulas typically dictate the amount and duration of maintenance payments. However, the court has the option to deviate from the statutory guidelines if the couple has a combined income of $500,000 or more. According to the statutory formula, the amount of support a spouse pays is calculated by taking 33.33 percent of the payor spouse’s net income and subtracting 25 percent of the recipient spouse’s net income. There is also a limit to spousal support payment amounts. When the spousal support is added to the net income of the recipient spouse, the total cannot surpass 40 percent of the combined net income of both spouses. The duration of support payments depends on the length of the marriage. The longer a couple was married, the longer the recipient spouse will be entitled to support.

Contact a Chicago Divorce Lawyer

If you want to learn more about spousal support and how it pertains to your divorce, contact The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC. Attorney Curtis Bennett Ross has over 30 years of experience in handling divorce and family law cases. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) so he understands how financial issues can impact divorce settlements. Call our office today at 312-984-1514 to schedule a private consultation with our skilled Illinois spousal maintenance attorney to discuss your needs.




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