Hinsdale Spousal Support Attorney

Advocating for Equitable and Positive Resolutions

In Illinois, spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony, is the financial support provided from one spouse to the other during and/or after divorce proceedings. It is awarded when one spouse lacks the means to support themselves, while the other spouse is self-sufficient and capable of contributing to the former partner's support.

At the Law Office of Jonathan Merel, we assist divorcing couples in determining a fair amount of spousal maintenance based on the unique circumstances of their marriage. Whether your case can be resolved amicably or requires litigation, we are the trusted team you can rely on.

To begin the process, reach out to our team online or call (630) 318-2111.

Schedule a consultation with a Hinsdale attorney you can trust! Call (312) 487-2795 today or fill out our simple contact form. Our firm can help you understand your options. We have offices in downtown Chicago, Highland Park, Hinsdale and Skokie.

Illinois Spousal Maintenance, Alimony & Support Calculator

Illinois has established a specific formula for calculating the amount and duration of spousal maintenance obligations or awards. This formula was initially implemented in 2015 and underwent modifications in 2019 due to changes in federal income tax laws. Further adjustments were made in early 2022, which are elaborated on below.

Since 2019, Illinois alimony is determined by subtracting 25% of the recipient's net income from 33.3% of the payer's net income. However, the recipient's share cannot exceed 40% of the household's net income. Additionally, the statutory alimony calculations under 750 ILCS 5/504 now apply to couples with a combined gross income of up to $500,000 per year. If the combined annual gross income exceeds this threshold, the court has discretion in determining the amount and duration of the obligation or award.

Consider the following example: The paying spouse earns $100,000 per year in net income. 33% of this amount equals $33,000. The recipient spouse earns $40,000 per year, and 25% of this amount equals $10,000. The annual maintenance payment would be $23,000, derived from subtracting $10,000 from $33,000. This amount is permissible under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, as it is less than 40% of the combined income of $140,000.

For more information on estimating your spousal maintenance or alimony amount, feel free to use our Illinois alimony payment estimator.

Estimate Alimony Payments

Recent Changes to Illinois Spousal Support & Alimony

In 2022, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was updated once again. Among other changes, this update clarified the categorization of spousal maintenance into five different forms.

The five forms of spousal maintenance in Illinois are as follows:

  1. Temporary: This form provides support for living expenses and regular costs during the separation period and until the divorce is finalized. It terminates or is replaced upon divorce finalization.
  2. Fixed-term: Alimony payments are arranged for a predetermined duration in this form. It is commonly used when one spouse sacrificed their career to take care of the household and now needs time to gain a sustainable income, such as by completing an educational course.
  3. Reviewable: Similar to fixed-term, reviewable spousal maintenance requires periodic court reviews to assess its ongoing appropriateness. If deemed unsuitable, it may be canceled or modified.
  4. Permanent: This form requires the paying spouse to provide monthly support for the receiving spouse's lifetime. It is only applicable for marriages lasting 20 years or more.
  5. Lump-sum: If the required spousal maintenance amount can be reasonably calculated before finalizing the order, it may be paid as a single lump sum. For instance, if both parties agree that $50,000 would be fair compensation for the receiving spouse to complete their university education and secure gainful employment, that amount could be paid in full upfront.

Who Pays Alimony/Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?

In Illinois, spousal maintenance aims to ensure both parties can regain financial stability after divorce. The higher-earning spouse during the marriage is responsible for making maintenance payments to the lesser-earning spouse. For instance, a stay-at-home parent who has been out of the workforce for an extended period may lack the means to attain an income comparable to their former partner's. Spousal support helps maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to while providing time to find employment, pursue education, and save money.

Spousal support is only available to legally married couples. It is not awarded to unmarried partners in the event of a breakup, nor is it provided to children.

Factors in Determining Alimony Amounts in IL

When the combined gross income of a household exceeds $500,000, the court exercises discretion in deciding spousal maintenance or alimony rather than strictly relying on the state's calculator.

The court may consider the following factors, among others, when determining alimony:

  • Income, assets, and debts of each party
  • Current and future earning capacities
  • Limitations on earning capacity, such as lack of education
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Child custody and parenting arrangements
  • Age and health of each party
  • Tax implications for each party

Duration of Spousal Maintenance Payments in Illinois

When determining the duration of spousal maintenance, the court takes into account the length of the marriage. The duration of alimony corresponds to a percentage of the years the spouses were married. The percentage starts at 20% for marriages lasting fewer than 5 years and increases by 4% for each additional year of marriage, capping at 80% for marriages of 19 years. For marriages lasting 20 years or more, permanent alimony is typically awarded.

For example, a 7-year marriage may result in a spousal maintenance order lasting approximately 32% of those 7 years, translating to a duration of roughly 27 months using this formula.

Contact Our Hinsdale Spousal Maintenance Attorneys Today

At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., our Hinsdale alimony attorneys possess extensive experience representing clients in numerous cases involving spousal maintenance. We are well-versed in advocating for our clients in court when litigation becomes necessary and negotiating settlements that hinge on resolving maintenance issues. Whatever your circumstances may be, you can depend on us to support you and safeguard your best interests.

Reach out to discuss your spousal maintenance case today. Call (630) 318-2111 or complete our online contact form.

Our Team

  • Jonathan  Merel Photo
    Founder and Managing Principal
    Jonathan Merel is an experienced attorney who advocates for his clients in all divorce and family law proceedings, including settlement negotiations and trials. Jonathan founded the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. in early 2009 after working for many ...
  • Melissa  Caballero Dunn Photo
    Caballero Dunn
    Managing Partner
    To clients, Melissa Caballero Dunn is “the best” and a “rare” family attorney. To our firm, she is the engine that keeps us running a smooth operation. As Managing Partner, The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel relies on Melissa to know what's around every ...
  • Katherine  Delgado Photo
    Katherine “Kat” Delgado counsels her family law clients with knowledge and compassion throughout their cases, including during settlement negotiations, in court, and in other adversarial settings throughout litigation. Her goal with every client is to ...
  • Jaclyn  DeSana Photo
    Jackie is a skilled and compassionate attorney who is dedicated to helping her clients navigate difficult situations. Jackie graduated from Wayne State University in 2012 where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Jackie continued her ...
  • Aurelija  Fitzpatrick Photo
    Aurelija Fitzpatrick believes that a large part of her job is being a problem solver. She also understands that people are often misunderstood. Aurelija has a unique ability to collaborate with family law clients by listening to her client's concerns, ...
  • Bradley R. Kaye Photo
    Bradley R.
    Brad Kaye is a divorce and family law attorney who knows how to win. His clients rave about his preparation and support as their divorce attorney . Brad gives his clients confidence in court, whether it's with a professional athlete, music industry ...
  • Ashley  Margason Photo
    Characterized by her ability to navigate the always diverse circumstances of family law cases, Ashley Margason is a trusted family law attorney with a reputation for extensive knowledge and efficiency. A client’s family law needs are unique. Every case is ...
  • William  McSurley Photo
    William’s demonstrated ability to exploit all aspects of the legal process to his client’s advantage has helped divorce clients avoid costly litigation altogether, or prevail when such conflicts cannot be avoided. William places an emphasis on using his ...
  • Josephine  Norton Photo
    Josie graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology (2013). Josie continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law (2017), where she was named to the Dean’s List and earned a Certificate in ...
  • Annemarie  Tarara Photo
    Annemarie Tarara is on the cutting edge of LGBTQ+ family law issues such as second-parent adoptions and the dissolution of same-sex marriages, civil unions, & domestic partnerships. She also represents clients in obtaining orders of protection and in ...
  • David  Zwaska Photo
    David Zwaska is an experienced litigator who makes the law digestible for family law clients every step of the way. Sure, Dave has the awards and resume that make him look like a great attorney to hire, including clerking for the Honorable Judge Raul Vega ...
  • Kelsey  Berndt Photo
    Kelsey graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with her Bachelor's in Social Relations & Policy and Women's & Gender Studies, where she found a passion for advocating on the behalf of those in need. Kelsey then attended Penn State Law, receiving ...
  • Marleena  Broekema Photo
    Marleena graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Theory and Women’s Studies. Marleena continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 2018, where she earned a certificate in ...
  • Jeffrey  Cash Photo
    Jeffrey Cash has focused his practice exclusively in the area of family law since 2014 and has represented individuals in all aspects of family law matters, including divorce , paternity, the allocation of parental responsibilities , parenting time, child ...
  • Mitchell J. Dean Photo
    Mitchell J.
    Mitchell graduated from the University of Iowa in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Minor in Political Science. Thereafter, Mitchell attended DePaul University College of Law, graduating in May 2021 with a Certificate in Business Law. While ...
  • Laude  Hartrum IV Photo
    Hartrum IV
    Laude’s approach to family law is both comprehensive and client-centered. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2017 and DePaul University College of Law in 2020, Laude was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2021. During law school, Laude ...
  • Cora  Leeuwenburg Photo
    Cora attended Loyola University School of Law and practiced as a 711 student-attorney with the school’s Community Law Clinic where she gained experience as a Guardian ad Litem representing children in court. Cora has always been interested in family law ...
  • Paige  Ryterski Photo
    Born in Rochester, Michigan, Paige obtained her Paralegal Certificate and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in her hometown. By the time she was 21, Paige was finished with college and working as a Paralegal for a Criminal Defense firm in ...
  • Will  Trabaris Photo
    Will is devoted to guiding his clients through the difficult waters of divorce and other family law proceedings. Will knows that this process can be emotionally taxing and complex, so he prides himself on being a steady hand – as well as a clear head – ...
    He was very professional, knowledgeable, approachable, and he explained the process very clearly
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