Maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony, is spousal support payable from one spouse to the other during the pendency of a divorce action and/or after the marriage ends.
Maintenance is generally awarded in situations where one spouse is not self-supporting during and/or after a divorce while the other spouse is both self-supporting and able to contribute to the other spouse’s support. Prior to 2015, Illinois law did not provide a specific formula by which to calculate the amount and duration of a spouse’s maintenance obligation/award. Courts were given broad discretion in determining the appropriate maintenance amount and duration by applying the numerous factors contained in Section 504(a) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. In 2015, the Illinois legislature revised Section 504 to include statutory guidelines (a calculation) by which to determine the amount and duration of maintenance for couples with a combined gross income of less than $250,000 per year. For a detailed description of the new maintenance guidelines, please refer to our blog entry regarding this topic. In the event the couple’s combined annual gross income is $250,000 or more, the courts are instructed to refrain from applying the new guidelines and are directed to apply the factors contained in Section 504(a) in determining the appropriate amount and duration of the maintenance obligation/award, as was customary prior to 2015.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. have both prosecuted and defended countless cases in which maintenance is a key issue. We are experienced in arguing such cases before the court when litigiation is necessary and engaging in settlement negotiations when settlement hinges on the resolution of a maintenance issue.