Chicago Alimony Attorneys

Fighting for a Fair & Favorable Resolution

In Illinois, spousal 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 a divorce is finalized. Alimony/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.

Contact an alimony lawyer online or call (312) 487-2795 to get started on your spousal maintenance case.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

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 whether maintenance was appropriate, and if so, the amount and duration by applying the numerous factors contained in Section 504(a) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Illinois Alimony Calculator

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. In the event the couple’s combined annual gross income was $250,000 or more, the courts were given discretion (applying the factors set forth in Section 504) in determining the appropriate amount and duration of the maintenance obligation/award, as was customary prior to 2015.

So how is alimony calculated? The basic formula for calculating annual alimony in Illinois is:

  • (33% of the payer's net income) – (25% of the payee's net income)

Note that the amount of spousal support must not result in one party earning over 40% of the combined income of both parties.

Illinois Alimony Laws

As of January 1, 2019, the Illinois maintenance statute was modified as a result of changes to the federal income tax laws.

Prior to January 1, 2019, maintenance payments were tax deductible to the maintenance payor and taxable as income to the maintenance recipient. Consequently, Illinois maintenance calculations are not based on the net incomes of the parties.

Starting in 2019, Illinois alimony is calculated by subtracting 25% of the payee’s net income from 33.3% of the payor’s net income; however, the recipient may not receive more than 40% of the household’s net income. Additionally, statutory alimony calculations under 750 ILCS 5/504 now apply to couples with a combined gross income of up to $500,000 per year.

Who Pays Alimony / Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?

In Illinois, spousal maintenance is meant to make sure both parties are able to bounce back financially after a divorce. The greater earning spouse during the course of the marriage will make maintenance payments to the lesser earning spouse. For example, a stay at home parent who has been out of the work force for many years may not be in a position to earn an income to match what their spouse was making. Spousal support provides for the standard of living they've grown accustomed to while giving them time to find a job, go back to school, and/or save up their own money.

Only married couples are eligible for spousal support. Maintenance will not be awarded to a partner in the case of a breakup, nor is it paid to children.

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Call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. Today

The Chicago alimony 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 litigation is necessary and engaging in settlement negotiations when settlement hinges on the resolution of a maintenance issue.

Discuss your alimony case with our divorce lawyers today. Call (312) 487-2795 or complete our online contact form.

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