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How Are Spousal Maintenance Payments Determined in Illinois?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

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.

As an example of how spousal maintenance is calculated, consider a couple in which the husband earns a net annual income of $150,000, and the wife earns a net annual income of $50,000. One-third of the husband’s income is $50,000, and one-fourth of the wife’s income is $12,500. Subtracting $12,500 from $50,000 results in $37,500. However, adding this amount to the wife’s net annual income would result in a total of $87,500. The couple’s combined net annual income is $200,000, and 40 percent of this amount is $80,000. Thus, the annual amount of spousal maintenance the wife would receive would be reduced to $30,000, or $2,500 per month. 

Contact Our Bolingbrook Spousal Support Attorney

There are a variety of factors that may play a role in determining whether spousal maintenance will be awarded in a couple’s divorce and calculating the amount that should be paid and the length of time that payments will last. The Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. can provide representation for a spouse, helping them understand how the divorce laws address spousal support and other issues in their case. To arrange a free consultation and receive the legal help you need during your divorce, contact our DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyer today at 630-355-7776.


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