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How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Illinois?

Posted on in Alimony / Maintenance

How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Illinois?For many couples, getting a divorce can be a big financial burden. Going from being a dual-income family to having to run a household on one income can be tough on anyone. In situations in which one spouse may be greatly disadvantaged financially after a divorce, a judge might deem it appropriate to award that person spousal maintenance. In Illinois, spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony or spousal support, is calculated using a specific formula, and it usually only lasts for a specific period of time. If you are getting a divorce, you should understand the basics of Illinois spousal maintenance.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance

If a spouse is awarded spousal maintenance, the formula set forth by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) will be used to determine the amount of the maintenance award. The formula applies to any couple whose combined gross annual income is less than $500,000. The formula is as follows:

  • 33.3% of payor’s net income - 25% of payee’s net income = Maintenance award

The law also states that the amount determined in that formula is not permitted to be more than 40 percent of the combined gross income of both spouses. The length of time the maintenance award is paid depends on the length of the marriage. The IMDMA sets forth a list of multiplying factors that determine the payment period.

An Example Case

Danielle and Mike have been married for 12 years and are now getting a divorce. Mike is an occupational therapist, and his net annual income is $85,000. Danielle is a graphic design specialist, and her net annual income is $45,000. The court has determined that it would be appropriate for Mike to pay spousal maintenance to Danielle so that she may continue to support herself while she gets back on her feet after the divorce.

Using the formula provided by Illinois law, 33.3 percent of Mike’s income would be $28,333, and 25 percent of Danielle’s income would be $11,250. This means the amount of spousal maintenance that Mike would pay to Danielle would amount to $17,083. However, when this amount is added to Danielle’s income, the total is $63,083. Forty percent of the couple’s combined gross income is $52,000, so the maintenance award would be reduced to $7,000 per year or around $583 per month. Because the couple was married for 12 years, the multiplying factor is .52, meaning Mike will pay alimony to Danielle for approximately 6.24 years, or about six years and three months.

A Kane County Spousal Maintenance Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

When it comes to spousal maintenance, an award is not guaranteed in any divorce case. If you think that you should receive spousal maintenance, you should speak with a skilled St. Charles, IL, spousal support lawyer. At Goostree Law Group, we can help you make sure you are financially prepared for your life after divorce. Call our office today at 630-584-4800 to schedule a free consultation.


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