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Calculating Spousal Support Under Illinois Law

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Calculating Spousal Support Under Illinois LawUnder current Illinois law, judges have less discretion than they previously did in determining what, if anything, can be awarded for spousal support. Spousal maintenance or support awards in Illinois are calculated according to statutorily set guidelines.

Before deciding what amount should be awarded for spousal support, the judge is first required to determine whether spousal support is appropriate in a particular case by considering certain factors, including the following:

  • The current property of each spouse;
  • The realistic earning capacity of each spouse presently and in the future,
  • Loss of earning capacity of both parties, including any loss of earning capacity based on a spouse taking on a more domestic role during the marriage, for example, loss of earning capacity for a stay-at-home parent;
  • Standard of living of the spouses;
  • Any valid agreements by the parties, such as a prenuptial agreement; and
  • The time needed for the spouse receiving support to become self-sufficient.

Once the judge decides maintenance is appropriate, the maintenance award is calculated as follows for a couple earning less than $250,000 and having no previous child support or spousal support obligations. In order to determine the annual maintenance award, 20 percent of the income of the spouse who will receive the maintenance is subtracted from 30 percent of the income of the spouse who will pay the maintenance. The figure determined here is also restricted in that it cannot exceed 40 percent of the combined gross income of the couple.

As an illustration, let's say Anne is an attorney earning $200,000 and her soon-to-be ex-husband Bill is a nurse's assistant earning about $30,000. If the court is to award a maintenance award to Bill, it would be calculated as follows: (30/100 x 200,000) – (20/100 x 30,000) = $54,000. The 40 percent restriction would not apply here because $54,000 is not over 40 percent of the couple's combined income.

Once this figure is determined, the length of time for which the support is to be paid is based on the length of the marriage and a multiplier provided in the statute.

Reach Out to Us for Assistance

If you are going through a separation or considering filing for divorce and wondering what your financial future will look like, you should contact an experienced divorce attorney for more information on what you may receive in spousal support or child support. Contact the McHenry County divorce attorneys at the law firm of Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for a consultation to learn more about how we can help with your family law matters.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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