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Calculating the Amount and Duration of Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County alimony lawyerCalculating spousal maintenance (alimony) in Illinois can be somewhat complex. The amount of maintenance payments will be based on the incomes of both spouses, and the duration that these payments will last is based on the length of the marriage. To get an idea of how maintenance is calculated, it is best to consider an example. The below figures, importantly, are reflective of a spousal maintenance calculation for couples whose total income is less than $500,000.

Step 1: Calculate 30% of the Payor’s Income

In this example, the payor’s income is $200,000 per year, the payee’s income is $40,000 per year, and the couple was married for seven years and seven months prior to divorcing. Thus, the total income is $240,000, falling under the $500,000 cap (above which maintenance is determined on a case-by-case basis). The first thing to do is to calculate 30% of the payor’s income; 30% of $200,000 equals $60,000. 

Step 2: Subtract 20% of the Payee’s Income from the 30% of the Payor’s Income

Next, calculate 20% of the payee’s income and subtract this figure from the 30% of the payor’s income. 20% of $40,000 is $8,000, and subtracting this amount from $60,000 equals $52,000. Here, we pause to make sure that adding this $52,000 to the payee’s income of $40,000 (making a total of $92,000) does not exceed 40% of the spouses’ combined income. 40% of $240,000 equals $96,000, so a maintenance award of $52,000 per year is appropriate.

Step 3: Calculate Duration of Maintenance Based on the Number of Years Married

The duration of maintenance is based on the length of the marriage, measured from the date of the marriage to the date that the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed with the court. The duration of maintenance payments is determined using the table provided under state law:

  • Marriages less than 5 years: Duration of maintenance equals .2 of the length of the marriage
  • 5 years – less than 6 = .24
  • 6 years – less than 7  = .28
  • 7 years – less than 8 = .32
  • 8 years – less than 9 = .36
  • 9 years – less than 10 = .40
  • 10 years – less than 11 = .44
  • 11 years – less than 12 = .48
  • 12 years – less than 13 = .52
  • 13 years – less than 14 = .56
  • 14 years – less than 15 = .60
  • 15 years – less than 16 = .64
  • 16 years to less than 17 = .68
  • 17 years to less than 18 = .72
  • 18 years to less than 19 = .76
  • 19 years to less than 20 = .80
  • 20 years or more = length of marriage or for an “indefinite term”

Since the couple in our example were married for more than seven but less than eight years, the correct percentage is .32. Multiplying seven years and seven months (91 months) by .32 results in 29 months, which means that maintenance will be paid for two years and five months.

Ensuring Compliance with Statutory Maintenance Requirements

There are a variety of factors that can affect spouses’ eligibility for maintenance, and correctly calculating spouses’ incomes, assets, and liabilities can be a complicated endeavor. The skilled attorneys of Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C. can ensure that the law’s guidelines are followed correctly, working to protect your rights and your financial interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our Kane County divorce attorneys today at 847-695-2400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

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