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4 Things Divorcing Couples Should Know About Illinois Spousal Support

Posted on in Divorce

West Chicago divorce attorney spousal maintenance

The state of Illinois has established spousal support guidelines for those in the midst of a divorce. Spousal support, also referred to as alimony or maintenance, is a court-ordered payment one spouse must pay to the other for an extended period of time. Spousal support is calculated by taking 33.33 percent of the payor’s net income minus 25 percent of the receiver’s net income. The final calculation, when added to the receiver’s income, cannot surpass 40 percent of the spouses' combined net income. In the event the final calculation is above 40 percent, it will be reduced to meet the required limit. 

When going through a divorce, it is important to consider all of the factors involving spousal support. If you are unsure of your eligibility or fear for your future financial stability, an experienced family law attorney can assist you during the legal proceedings to make sure your rights are protected. 

Key Factors When Determining Spousal Support

Spousal support can be confusing. Whether you are the potential payor or recipient, it is important to keep these factors in mind during the divorce process: 

  1. Several factors are taken into consideration before a judge grants spousal support. These factors include the length of your marriage, the income and property of both you and your spouse, the standard of living during your marriage, and any tax implications each of you may face.
  2. Spousal support calculations may be different for high-income couples. In Illinois, the method described above for calculating spousal maintenance only applies for couples with a combined net income less than $500,000 per year. If you and your spouse earn more than this amount, a judge will determine a maintenance amount that is fair and reasonable.
  3. Payments can be temporary or indefinite. Typically, maintenance will be paid for a certain percentage of the amount of time a couple was married. For marriages of 20 years or more, the court may order that spousal support will be paid for the full length of the marriage, or it may last indefinitely. Spousal support obligations will be terminated when either spouse passes away, or when the recipient spouse remarries or cohabitates with a partner on a “resident, continuing conjugal basis.”
  4. In the event circumstances change, spousal support can be modified. If either party experiences a significant change in circumstances, they may ask that spousal support payments be increased, decreased, or terminated. Substantial changes may include a job loss or a debilitating injury that affects a person's ability to earn an income.

Contact a Winfield Divorce Lawyer

While you are in the midst of a divorce, you should not make any assumptions about the spousal maintenance that you may pay or receive. To ensure that your rights are protected, it is crucial that you consult with a skilled Kane County spousal support attorney from the Law Office of Christina Martell. We will provide compassionate representation from the start to the finish of your divorce. Call our office today at 630-717-2772 to schedule an appointment. We offer consultations for $100, which will be credited toward your bill upon hiring our firm.


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