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Illinois Divorce Basics: How Long Will You Receive Alimony Payments?

Illinois alimony attorneysAlimony, otherwise known as spousal maintenance, is not routinely awarded in Illinois. However, it is an element in some divorce cases. Learn how determinations regarding alimony are made, including how long you can expect to receive payments, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can help you pursue the most favorable outcome in your case. 

Illinois’ Statutory Guidelines on Alimony 

Most of the time, family courts use a set of statutory guidelines to determine the amount and duration of alimony payments. While the court may deviate from these rules, they must either provide a valid reason for doing so, or the combined annual income of the parties must amount to more than $500,000. In those instances, the court may weigh several factors to determine the amount and duration of alimony payments (i.e. the length of the marriage, contributions of each party to the marital estate, ability to work, education, etc.). Otherwise, an alimony award is usually determined using a two-step process. 

  • The amount of alimony to be paid each year is determined by subtracting 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s gross income from 30 percent of the paying party’s gross income. 
  • The duration that alimony should be paid is determined by multiplying the years of marriage by a specific percentage (based on the number of years the parties were married). The product of the equation is the number of years that alimony will be paid. 

In 2018, the courts changed the multiplying factors used to determine the duration of spousal support, which has resulted in some parties receiving alimony for a shorter amount of time. These new percentages are as follows: 

  • Marriages lasting less than 5 years are multiplied by 0.20,
  • Marriages lasting 5 years are multiplied by 0.24,
  • Marriages lasting 6 years are multiplied by 0.28,
  • Marriages lasting 7 years are multiplied by 0.32,
  • Marriages lasting 8 years are multiplied by 0.36,
  • Marriages lasting 9 years are multiplied by 0.40,
  • Marriages lasting 10 years are multiplied by 0.44,
  • Marriages lasting 11 years are multiplied by 0.48,
  • Marriages lasting 12 years are multiplied by 0.52,
  • Marriages lasting 13 years are multiplied by 0.56,
  • Marriages lasting 14 years are multiplied by 0.60,
  • Marriages lasting 15 years are multiplied by 0.64,
  • Marriages lasting 16 years are multiplied by 0.68,
  • Marriages lasting 17 years are multiplied by 0.72,
  • Marriages lasting 18 years are multiplied by 0.76, and
  • Marriages lasting 19 years are multiplied by 0.80. 

Marriages lasting 20 years or longer are not multiplied by a factor. Instead, the duration of alimony is either equal to the total duration of the marriage (i.e. 20 years for a 20-year marriage), or it is seen as “indefinite,” meaning the courts can terminate spousal support if it is deemed no longer necessary. 

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers for Assistance with Your Alimony Case

Although the courts typically use a formula to determine the amount and duration of spousal support, one must first prove that spousal maintenance is both warranted and necessary. Contact Davi Law Group, LLC and obtain skilled legal representation for your case. Our seasoned Wheaton alimony attorneys are some of the most trusted in the state, and we will fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Call 630-580-6373 to schedule your personalized consultation today.


Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
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Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
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Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
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Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
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Address58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 102,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
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