Tag Archives: spousal maintenance
New spousal support guidelines are coming to Illinois January 1, 2015. This blog post overviews the potential pros and cons of this new legislation.
To see how the new spousal support formula will work: Click here
The current law essentially awards spousal support, or maintenance as its also referred to, at the judge’s discretion after consideration of numerous factors. This has led maintenance awards to vary widely from case to case and the inconsistency made it difficult for family law attorneys to give clients a concrete answer to the question: “how much spousal support will I pay or receive and for how long?” Therefore, rather than settling their cases, many parties instead would choose to “gamble” and go to trial hoping to receive a better maintenance determination from the judge than they could negotiate out of court.
Major changes are on the horizon in 2015 in terms of spousal support. Unlike child support, where the statute sets clear guideline amounts based on the number of children, the amount and duration of spousal support payments had not been clearly defined. However, all of that just changed with the passing of Public Act 98-0961. Previously, courts were given substantial discretion when determining amounts and the duration of spousal support based on a list of factors for judges to consider, including, but not limited to, the length of the parties’ marriage, the present and future earning capacity of each party, and the duration of the marriage.
Alimony, also known as maintenance, refers to one spouse paying a monthly stipend to his or her spouse during or after a divorce or legal separation. Only married couples are eligible for spousal support. This does not apply to parentage cases for child custody; in those scenarios, support is given to the child and that is referred to as child support. In divorce cases that also involve children, there will also likely be a provision for child support, which is separate from alimony.