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Alimony And Spousal Support

The end of a marriage brings a wide variety of complex issues that must be resolved, and as spouses adjust to their lives after divorce, they may struggle financially. Spouses who earn less than their former partner or who chose to make sacrifices to their own career in favor of taking on family responsibilities while they were married are often put in a difficult position, and as a result, they may be able to receive financial support, known as spousal maintenance, from their former spouse.

The compassionate family law attorneys of Laraia & Whitty, P.C. understand the financial difficulties that people face during divorce, and we are dedicated to representing our clients’ interests in cases in which a spouse is seeking maintenance. Whether you expect to receive or pay spousal support, we can help you reach a divorce settlement that will allow you to maintain financial stability as you move into the next phase of your life.

Determining Spousal Maintenance In Illinois

In Illinois divorce cases, eligibility for spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony) is often left up to the discretion of a judge, who will weigh a variety of factors to determine whether a maintenance award is appropriate. These factors include the income earned by each spouse, the standard of living the couple enjoyed while married, whether a spouse’s earning capacity was impaired because they devoted themselves to domestic responsibilities instead of their career, and whether a spouse made contributions to their former partner’s education or career training.

If the judge determines that maintenance is appropriate, the amount and duration of maintenance will be calculated following the guidelines specified in Illinois law. For divorces finalized after January 1, 2019, the following process is used to determine the amount of maintenance:

  • Take 33 1/3% of the payor’s net annual income.
  • Subtract 25% of the recipient’s net annual income.
  • The resulting amount, when added to the recipient’s net income, cannot be higher than 40% of the combined net income of both parties.

For example, if one spouse earns a net income of $100,000, and the other earns a net income of $30,000, maintenance would be calculated as follows: $33,333 ($100,000 x .333) – $7,500 ($30,000 x .25) = $25,833. However, when this amount is added to the recipient’s income, the total is $55,833. Since 40% of the parties’ combined net income of $130,000 is $52,000, the amount of maintenance would be reduced to $22,000 per year.

The duration of maintenance payments is calculated using a percentage of the length of the parties’ marriage, starting at 20% for marriages of less than five years and increasing to 100% (or indefinite maintenance) for marriages of 20 years or more. For example, in a marriage that lasted 10 years, maintenance will be paid for 44% of the length of the marriage, which is four years and five months.

Contact A DuPage County Alimony Attorney

Regardless of the reason your marriage ended, you deserve to be able to support yourself and your family after your divorce. At Laraia & Whitty, P.C., we can advocate on your behalf, whether you are seeking spousal maintenance or are expected to pay spousal support to your former partner. We will work to ensure that you have the financial resources you need during and after your divorce. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Wheaton spousal support attorneys at 630-228-9984. We serve clients throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, Kendall County and Will County, including Warrenville, Winfield, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, and Carol Stream.