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Maintenance

Chicago Maintenance Lawyers

An award of maintenance, formerly known as alimony or spousal support, provides financial support from one spouse to the other spouse after the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The duration of maintenance is dependent upon the length of the marriage and the amount is based on the spouses’ income.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage (“IMDMA”) sets forth the process that the Court should use when determining and calculating maintenance in any case. First, the Court should weigh numerous factors and determine whether a spouse is entitled to receive maintenance. After the Court has determined whether a party is entitled to maintenance, the IMDMA sets forth the formula for both the calculation and duration of maintenance.

Am I entitled to maintenance from my spouse?

Section 504 of the IMDMA requires the Court to consider the following factors when determining if a party should receive maintenance from his or her spouse:

  • The income and property of each party;
  • The needs of each party;
  • The realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
  • Any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities;
  • Any impairment of the realistic present or future earning capacity of the party against whom maintenance is sought;
  • The time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or any parental responsibility arrangements and its effect on the party seeking employment;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties;
  • All sources of public and private income, including, without limitation, disability and retirement income;
  • The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties;
  • Contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
  • Any valid agreement of the parties; and
  • Any other factor that the Court expressly finds to be just and equitable.
How much maintenance can I expect to receive?

In Illinois, if the couple earns less than $500,000 in gross annual income and there are no child support or maintenance obligations from a prior marriage, then the amount and duration of a spousal maintenance award can be determined by a simple formula:

(33.33% of the payor’s net income) – (25% of the recipient’s net income) = maintenance amount.

However, a maintenance award is capped at 40% of the combined net incomes of the spouses.

For Example, if payor’s net income (after taxes) is $100,000 and recipient’s net (after taxes) income is $50,000, the maintenance would be calculated as follows:

(33.33% of $100,000) – (25% of $50,000) = $20,833.33 in maintenance.

If a spouse was to receive maintenance using this formula, then the recipient would receive his or her income of $50,000 and $20,000 in maintenance. However, 40% of the parties’ combined gross income is $60,000. Therefore, the recipient’s maintenance would be capped at $10,000 ($60,000 – $50,000).

How long can I expect to receive maintenance?

The IMDMA calculates the duration of maintenance by multiplying the length of the marriage by the applicable factor (below):

  • Less than 5 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .20
  • 5 years or more but less than 6 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .24
  • 6 years or more but less than 7 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .28
  • 7 years or more but less than 8 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .32
  • 8 years or more but less than 9 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .36
  • 9 years or more but less than 10 years: Multiple the length of the marriage by .40
  • 10 years or more but less than 11 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .44
  • 11 years or more but less than 12 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .48
  • 12 years or more but less than 13 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .52
  • 13 years or more but less than 14 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .56
  • 14 years or more but less than 15 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .60
  • 15 years or more but less than 16 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .64
  • 16 years or more but less than 17 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .68
  • 17 years or more but less than 18 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .72
  • 18 years or more but less than 19 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .76
  • 19 years or more but less than 20 years: Multiply the length of the marriage by .80
  • 20 + years: The Court has the discretion to order either indefinite maintenance, or maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage.

The length of the marriage is determined from the date of your marriage until the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage by either spouse.

Maintenance in Illinois

If you are a financially-dependent spouse with concerns about your financial future, or if your spouse is demanding an unreasonable amount or duration of spousal maintenance, you need advice and advocacy from a matrimonial lawyer with knowledge and experience handling these complex issues in Illinois. The divorce attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn have the skills to protect your financial future by securing a maintenance award that suits your unique needs.

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Call or email Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC today to schedule a consultation.

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