How Alimony is Calculated in an Illinois Divorce
Spousal support, though less frequently awarded in divorce than it used to be, is still an option for disadvantaged spouses. However, many things have changed over the last few years. For example, more women are the primary breadwinners in their families, so more men are pursuing spousal support. Another major difference is that the formula for calculating alimony changed back in 2015. Discover how to tell if you may be eligible for spousal support, and how it is calculated in an Illinois divorce today.
Are You Eligible for Spousal Support?
Despite the common misconception, alimony is not always awarded, just because it is requested. Instead, spouses who wish to receive alimony must fit a few criteria before they are considered eligible by the courts. For example, the courts may award alimony when:
- A significant financial disparity between the spouses exists;
- Educational, employment, or financial sacrifices were made to advance the career of a spouse;
- A spouse stayed home to care for children instead of working outside the home;
- A spouse is unable to work due to physical or emotional ailments; or
- A spouse cannot obtain gainful employment due to a lack of job experience or training.
Still, even in these situations, the requirement to pay alimony may be only temporary. Parties should also ensure they understand how the pursuit of alimony may affect child support, if it will be awarded. An experienced divorce attorney can help.
Calculating Alimony in an Illinois Divorce
In most divorces, alimony will follow a specific formula: the courts take 30 percent of the paying spouse’s income and subtract 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s income. (Note that the receiving spouse’s maximum amount is 40 percent of the couple’s combined gross income.) Then, to determine the duration of the payment period, the courts multiply the length of the marriage by a predetermined factor:
- 0.20 for marriages lasting five years or less;
- 0.40 for marriages lasting 5 to 10 years;
- 0.60 for marriages lasting 10 to 15 years;
- 0.80 for marriages lasting 15 to 20 years; and
- 1.0 for marriages lasting 20 years or longer (or the award may be permanent).
As an example, let us examine the fictitious marriage John and Mary. Mary left college to stay home with the children when they were young. When the children were old enough to start primary school, Mary went to work part-time as an office assistant. She makes a gross income of $25,000, and John makes a gross income of $100,000. Their marriage lasted a total of nine years. If the courts award alimony to Mary, the formula would be as follows:
- 30 percent of John’s income is $30,000;
- 20 percent of Mary’s income is $5,000;
- $30,000 - $5,000 = $25,000 per year in maintenance;
- Multiply 9 (duration of the marriage) by 0.40 to determine payment term;
- Maintenance is paid at $25,000 per year for 3.6 years.
Contact Our DuPage County Alimony Lawyers
Disadvantaged spouses may be entitled to alimony in their divorce, but paying spouses also have the right to contest the request. As such, disadvantaged spouses should ensure they have quality representation throughout the divorce process. The Davi Law Group, LLC can help protect your right to request spousal maintenance. Seasoned and dedicated to your best interest, our DuPage County divorce lawyers will aggressively pursue the most compensation possible. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling 630-580-6373 today.