Maintenance Obligations in Illinois
As you approach the process of divorce, you, undoubtedly, will have many questions. You are likely to wonder how arrangements for your children will be made and who will get what property when everything is divided between you and your spouse. It is also common for spouses—especially those who make more than their partners—to have concerns about spousal maintenance and how much they may be required to pay following the divorce.
Maybe, Maybe Not
The first thing you should know about maintenance—or alimony, as it is sometimes called—is that it is not guaranteed in divorce. Each case is handled by the court on an individual basis. Of course, the court may look to previous rulings for established precedents, but in awarding maintenance, the court must determine that an actual need exists. To determine the need, the court will look at numerous factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s age, health, income, and employability, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage and to each other’s earning capacity.
If alimony is indeed appropriate, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides a formula for figuring out how much you will need to pay. The formula is intended to be used when the parties’ combined income is less than $250,000 and the supporting spouse is not paying or receiving maintenance or child support from a previous relationship. The amount of maintenance to be paid is found by taking 30 percent of the payor’s gross income and subtracting 20 percent of the recipient’s gross income. The difference is the expected payment amount.
The law also stipulates, however, that if the expected payment amount added to the recipient’s income totals more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income, the payment amount will be reduced accordingly.
If you and your spouse make more than $250,000 per year combined or you are already paying child support or maintenance, the court has the discretion to set a payment amount the will meet the needs of your situation. This is also true if the court finds that using the statutory formula would be inappropriate based on a full evaluation of your circumstances.
To learn more about the laws regarding spousal maintenance in Illinois, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-232-9700 to schedule your confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today. We will work with you to ensure you get the fair, reasonable divorce settlement you deserve.