If you live in Illinois and are contemplating filing for divorce, or if you are currently going through the process of divorce, you need to know about some recent changes to Illinois laws that deal with spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. These changes went into effect on January 1, 2019.
Is Spousal Maintenance Appropriate?
Before the court makes a finding regarding maintenance, it will look at the facts of the case. This is not new. However, the question of whether maintenance is appropriate must be answered before determining the details of the maintenance award. In the past, the length of the marriage was often a deciding factor, but it is now just one of many factors that will be considered when deciding if spousal support is appropriate.
Spousal Support Amount and Duration
If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, then it will be time to determine how long support will be paid and in what amount. Guideline maintenance may be awarded if the parties’ gross combined income is under $500,000 and the payor does not have to pay child support or maintenance from another relationship. Starting January 1, 2019, maintenance will be determined by calculating 33 1/3 percent of the annual net income of the payor, then subtracting 25 percent of the annual net income of the payee.
The duration of the maintenance will be determined by calculating a percentage of the length of the marriage. For marriages of less than five years, maintenance will last 20 percent of the length of the marriage. Marriages of five to six years will use 24 percent, marriages of six to seven years will use 28 percent, marriages of seven to eight years will use 32 percent, and so on. When a marriage lasts 20 years or more, the court will have the discretion to order maintenance equal to the length of the marriage or for an indefinite amount of time.
The new statute will still ensure that the payee will not receive more than 40 percent of the combined net annual income of the parties after adding the award for maintenance to their individual income. In the event that the payor’s guideline-based child support and maintenance exceed 50 percent of their net income, the court may then order non-guideline child support and/or maintenance.
Contact an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Attorney Today
If you have questions about how maintenance and/or child support could be ordered in your divorce, or any other family law related questions, the dedicated Naperville divorce lawyers at Momkus LLC can help you understand your rights and legal options based on these new laws. Contact us today by calling 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.