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How is Spousal Maintenance Handled in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights family law attorneyGetting a divorce can have a major, ongoing impact on your finances. After the divorce is over and all the court and attorney expenses have been paid, many divorcees must continue to make spousal maintenance payments to their former spouses.

Knowing how spousal maintenance is handled and what kinds of maintenance there are in Illinois is crucial for managing your options and expectations. In this article, we will explore what the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows in terms of spousal maintenance, how payments are calculated, and how long you can expect to make these payments. 

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated? 

Maintenance payments are allocated based on a fairly simple equation but judges have wide leeway to adjust payments depending on other factors as well, such as child support obligations or spousal support payments already being made to previous spouses. The basic formula for spousal maintenance is 33 percent of the paying spouse’s annual net income, minus 25 percent of the receiving spouse’s annual net income. 

What Types of Maintenance Are There? 

The four basic types of maintenance that can be allocated in Illinois are:

  • Temporary - This is awarded to one spouse while the divorce is ongoing and is intended to cover the recipient’s expenses while they adjust to life as an unmarried individual. 
  • Fixed-Term - This is alimony set for a specific duration while the recipient becomes self-supporting. Fixed-term alimony cannot be renewed.
  • Reviewable - This is alimony that can be continued based on a court review given circumstances that are likely to change. This is often granted when a recipient cannot immediately become self-supporting because childcare responsibilities are in the way. 
  • Permanent - This is alimony awarded for the rest of the recipient’s life. Generally, this is only available to divorcees after at least 20 years of marriage. 

How Long Do Spousal Maintenance Payments Last? 

The length of payments is calculated as a percentage of the length of the marriage. As the length of the marriage increases, so does the percentage of the marriage’s length for which payments must be made. 

For example, if a couple was married for five years or less, maintenance payments generally do not last longer than 20 percent of the marriage, or one year. But if a couple was married for fifteen years, maintenance payments can be ordered to last 60 percent of the marriage’s length, or up to nine years. 

Work With an Arlington Heights Spousal Maintenance Attorney

If you are getting ready for divorce and wondering what the impact of spousal maintenance could be on your personal finances, schedule a consultation with a Rolling Meadows spousal maintenance attorney. At A. Traub & Associates, we have many years of experience handling spousal maintenance issues for divorcing couples and will advocate passionately on your behalf for a favorable outcome. Schedule your initial consultation by calling us today at [[phone]]. 




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