Illinois laws related to spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony or spousal support, have undergone significant changes in recent years, and relying on the experience or advice of a friend or family member who went through a divorce several years ago may not be accurate today. For help applying the new law to your own case, it’s best to contact an experienced spousal maintenance attorney today.
In 2017, the Illinois Legislature passed House Bill 2537, which significantly changed how spousal maintenance is calculated in the state. Prior to this, courts were directed to assess several specific factors when determining whether spousal maintenance should be awarded in a particular case, including:
After applying these factors to the specific circumstances of a case, courts were then directed to use a statutory formula to calculate how much maintenance should be awarded and how long it must be paid, but only if a couple had a combined income of less than $250,000. If eligible for maintenance, the length of a couple’s marriage was multiplied by a certain percentage to determine the amount.
Under the new spousal maintenance law, which went into effect in January of 2018, a statutory formula is now used to determine maintenance if a couple’s income falls below $500,000, an increase of $250,000, which means that statutory formulas now apply to couples with higher incomes. If a couple’s combined income exceeds $500,000 a year, the court can instead use other factors to determine maintenance, including:
The statutory formula used in most cases involves multiplying the number of years that a couple has been married by a factor that goes up as the length of the marriage increases. For instance, if a marriage lasted less than five years, the court would multiply that number by .20 to determine how much spousal maintenance will be owed. The schedule continues as follows:
For marriages lasting 20 years or more, maintenance is awarded on either an indefinite term or for a term that is equal to the length marriage.
If you have questions about how spousal maintenance laws apply to your own case, please contact one of the dedicated Arlington Heights spousal maintenance lawyers at SLG Family Law today. We offer free initial consultations.
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