Special Considerations for Breadwinners Getting Divorced
Divorce is a different experience for everyone who goes through it. The particulars of how a marriage ends can be based on many factors including the financial situation of each spouse, the length of the marriage, if children are involved, and more. If you are planning to get divorced and you are the primary breadwinner of the couple, there are some special considerations that you should take note of.
Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, refers to the payments that the higher-earning spouse pays to the lower-earning spouse after a divorce. Spousal maintenance in Illinois is determined on a case-by-case scenario for couples who have a large discrepancy in either income or life circumstances. If you make significantly more money than your soon-to-be-ex-spouse or they have been out of the workforce for a while, you might have to pay spousal maintenance. The amount the payments will be determined by the length and standard of living of the marriage, the spouses’ income and property, the present and future earning capacity of each spouse, and more. Maintenance payments can be temporary or permanent, but are not required after the person receiving maintenance remarries.
If you make more money than your spouse and are a parent, you might be ordered to pay child support. Support is paid to the parent with a greater share of parental responsibilities, or the parent who has custody of the child more often. In 2016, the Illinois legislature passed a new statute changed the way child support was calculated. Today, Illinois child support payments are calculated based on the income shares approach. One of the biggest differences between this calculation method and the previously-used method is that if the child spends at least 146 nights a year with a parent, the parent’s support obligation reflects this. In the past, the amount of time that each parent has custody of the child was not considered in child support calculations. The income shares model for child support is based on three main factors:
- The total amount of money required to raise the child, which is then divided proportionally between the parents based on their income;
- The amount of parenting time or physical custody each parent has; and
- Any additional costs that the child may incur such as child care costs or medical or health insurance expenses.
If a significant change in circumstances such as a job loss occurs, you have the ability to petition the court to modify the child support order based on your new financial circumstances.
We Can Help
If you have further questions about the divorce process, contact The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates. Our experienced Kane County family law attorneys have the skill and knowledge to handle even the most complicated divorce cases. Call us today at 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation.