Tag Archives: spousal support
As if being a parent weren’t hard enough these days, things sure do get amplified when you are a single parent. It requires more responsibility, less time for yourself and the constant battle to juggle and find balance in your life. Situations become increasingly more complicated when child support comes into play. Illinois child support payments are generally straightforward and follow a guideline based on the statute. However, there are rare circumstances where the amount of child support can deviate from the statutory guidelines based on variables in the specific case.
A prenuptial agreement is designed to safeguard spouses (or oftentimes one spouse) in the unexpected event of a divorce. Preunps are primarily implemented to protect business interests, financial assets, and often to establish the terms and conditions for spousal support in the event of a divorce. A key element in creating a valid and legally-binding prenuptial agreement is to ensure that the agreement was reached with full disclosure of the respective financial circumstances of the parties involved. Courts will often nullify a prenuptial agreement that was reached without a complete exchange of financial information by both parties.
Recent changes to Illinois legislation regarding spousal support will be making a huge impact on the finances of divorcing couples. Previously, the laws were relatively vague offering major discretion to judges on the “if’s and when’s” and how much spousal support should be paid and for how long.
Effective January 2015, more formal guidelines will allocate spousal support. The two main changes are as follows:
1. The amount of spousal support (1) shall be calculated by taking 30% of the payor’s gross income minus 20% of the payee’s gross income. The amount calculated as maintenance, however, when added to the gross income of the payee, may not result in the payee receiving an amount that is in excess of 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.
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.