Kane County Spousal Maintenance Attorneys

Alimony Lawyers Serving St. Charles, Geneva, and Throughout Northern Illinois

st. charles alimony and divorce lawyer

In Illinois, alimony (also called maintenance), is sometimes awarded in a divorce when there is a significant discrepancy between the earnings of each spouse. The amount and duration of the maintenance are determined based on a mathematical formula. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we are experienced in working with Illinois spousal maintenance laws, which were revised as of January 1, 2015. We work closely with our clients to make sure that you understand how the law applies to your divorce whether you are the supporting spouse or the supported spouse.

Divorce and Alimony in Illinois

The right of one spouse to maintenance in a divorce is determined by factors outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/504). These factors include:

  • Income and property of each party (including public and private income);
  • Needs of each party;
  • Present and future earning capacity or each party;
  • Impediments to the earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance;
  • Impediments to the earning capacity of the party from whom maintenance is sought;
  • How long it would take the party seeking maintenance to obtain necessary education, training, or employment and how parenting responsibilities impact that factor;
  • Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage;
  • Length of the marriage;
  • Age and health of both parties;
  • Tax consequences of property division;
  • Contributions made by the spouse seeking maintenance to education or career of the other spouse; and
  • Valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance

Once a judge determines that one spouse is entitled to maintenance from the other spouse, a statutory formula is employed to set the amount and duration of the award. This formula takes into account the gross income of both parties and is applied when their combined income is less than $250,000. The formula includes the following calculations: thirty percent (30%) of the payors gross income minus twenty percent (20%) of the payees gross income. For example, if the payor makes $100,000 and the payee makes $40,000 the calculation would be $20,000 (30% payor) - $4,000(20% payee) = $26,000 in yearly maintenance.

The maintenance award plus the payees gross income cannot be more than 40% of the combined gross income of both parties, however. In the aforementioned example, the maintenance award plus the payees income is $26,000 + $20,000 = $46,000. The combined gross income of both parties is $120,000 and 40% of that is $48,000. Because $46,000 is less than $48,000 the maintenance award will remain $46,000. If the award were greater than 40% of the combined income, the award would be reduced to that amount.

A separate formula is also used to determine the term of the maintenance award using a multiplication factor based on the duration of the marriage as follows:

Years of marriageMultiplication Factor
0-5 years0.20
5-10 years0.40
10-15 years0.60
15-20 years0.80

Marriages that last longer than 20 years may be awarded permanent maintenance or maintenance for a term lasting as long as the marriage did. For example, maintenance for a marriage that lasted 7 years would continue for 2.8 years.

If you are involved in a divorce in which spousal maintenance is applicable, our attorneys can help. Contact us at 630-206-3300 to schedule a free consultation. We will discuss the specific circumstances of your divorce and whether or not maintenance is likely in those circumstances. If so, we will help you understand how the maintenance formulas will be applied to your situation. Our office is located in St. Charles, IL, and we work with clients throughout Kane, DuPage, DeKalb, and Kendall Counties.

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