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DuPage County Spousal Maintenance AttorneyWhile a divorce can lead to financial difficulties for both spouses, there are some situations where one party may struggle to support themselves or maintain their standard of living on their own. If there is a large difference between the incomes earned by divorcing spouses, or if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent who is not currently working, a divorce court judge may decide that spousal maintenance would be appropriate. This form of support, which is commonly known as alimony, will usually be paid for a temporary period following a couple’s divorce, and it is meant to help the party who earns a lower income meet their needs while also providing them with the means to obtain the education or training they need to return to work or increase the income that they are able to earn so that they will be able to support themselves. Spouses who may pay or receive spousal maintenance will want to be sure to understand how these payments will be calculated.

Spousal Support Calculations and Examples

If a judge determines that spousal support is needed, Illinois law uses a specific formula to calculate the amount that will be paid. This formula applies in cases where a couple’s total gross income per year is below $500,000. For those who earn more than that amount on an annual basis, a judge may order an amount of support that would be appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

The statutory formula takes one-third (33 and 1/3 percent) of the payor’s net annual income and subtracts one-fourth (25 percent) of the payee’s net annual income. The resulting amount may be paid on an annual basis, or it may be divided by 12 and paid on a monthly basis. However, when the amount of spousal maintenance is added to the payee’s net income, the result cannot be higher than 40 percent of the combined net annual income earned by the parties.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney spousal maintenance

One of the most stressful and frustrating aspects of divorcing your spouse is the financial aspect of the situation. For some couples, the money side of the divorce may not be of much concern, but for most couples, getting a divorce puts a real financial strain on both parties. According to Bankrate, the average cost of a divorce is around $15,000, but the final price tag could be upward of $100,000 in extremely contentious divorces. That is a hefty bill for anyone to foot, especially for those who are disabled or who have been homemakers and who have not held a career. In some situations, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, can be paid by one spouse to another to help with living expenses. However, spousal maintenance is not awarded in all divorce cases.

Determining a Need for Spousal Maintenance

In some cases, a couple may have an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that dictates the terms of spousal support. If the agreement is determined to be valid and upheld, the guidelines contained in the agreement can be used to determine spousal maintenance.

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