How Much Spousal Support Will I Receive or Pay in St. Charles, Illinois?

Kane County Divorce Lawyer Explains How Illinois Alimony Is Calculated

Spousal support is often a contentious issue in a divorce. A high-income spouse may argue that they should not have to continue supporting a stay-at-home or lesser-earning spouse in the same style they enjoyed during the marriage. The lesser-earning spouse may counter that they have sacrificed their own career to support the other. Both parties may be worried about maintaining a comfortable lifestyle while also saving enough for retirement.

At Goostree Law Group, we fully understand the concerns you may have about spousal support. We are highly experienced in negotiating complex divorce settlements involving substantial marital assets, maintenance and child support. Whether you are on the payor or recipient side of the alimony issue, we will advocate ardently for your interests and work toward a settlement that meets your personal needs.

It is generally in both parties' best interest to negotiate an agreement on spousal support rather than leave the decisions up to a judge.

Guidelines for Amount and Duration of Maintenance in Illinois

Illinois law provides specific guidelines for judges to follow with regard to both the amount of maintenance and the duration of maintenance (750 ILCS 5/504). These guidelines apply to couples with a combined gross annual income of less than $500,000. Judges have the discretion to deviate from the guidelines, but they must explain their reasoning for the variance.

Amount of Maintenance

The guideline for calculating maintenance is: 33 1/3 percent of the payor's net income minus 25 percent of the recipient's income. For example, if the payor's net income is $90,000, and the recipient's income is zero, maintenance would be $30,000 per year (one-third of $90,000). Net income is defined as gross annual income as calculated for federal income tax purposes minus the standard federal and state withholding taxes.

Duration of Maintenance

For a marriage of less than 20 years, the guideline term of maintenance will be equal to the length of the marriage times a factor between 0.20 and 0.80. For example, for a marriage of five years, the factor is 0.24, so the term of maintenance would be 1.2 years. For a marriage of 19 years, the factor is 0.80, so the term of maintenance would be 15.2 years. For a marriage of 20 or more years, the term of maintenance may be either the number of years married or an indefinite term.

The court may award maintenance in one of three ways:

  • For a fixed term that may not be extended.
  • For a set term, after which the court will review the situation and determine whether maintenance should continue.
  • For an indefinite term, meaning that maintenance must be paid until modified or terminated by the court.

End of Maintenance

Once a maintenance order is issued, it remains in effect until:

  • The fixed term expires.
  • Either party dies.
  • The recipient remarries.
  • The recipient cohabits with an intimate partner, which generally requires a court finding to determine whether cohabitation exists and as of what date.
  • The order is modified or terminated by the court.

Non-Guideline Maintenance

Some cases when non-guideline maintenance might be awarded include:

  • The recipient spouse needs more than the guideline duration of maintenance due to the need to care for young children or to retrain for and obtain new employment
  • The payor is in or near retirement.
  • The couple has a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that covers the issue of spousal support.

Contact a St. Charles Spousal Support Lawyer

The attorneys of Goostree Law Group will advocate strongly for your interests in matters of divorce, family law, and criminal defense. We serve clients in the Kane County communities of St. Charles, Campton Hills, Elgin, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elburn, Kaneville, and LaFox. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.

Back to Top