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New Alimony Law in Illinois in 2015

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Illinois alimony lawVirtually all areas of law at least have the potential to change over time. Sometimes, the change comes in the form of court decisions, and other times it is through legislative action. Attorneys are responsible for keeping informed of changes in the law and any related procedure in order to provide their clients with competent representation.

Such a change has recently occurred within this state. In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law into effect that will change the alimony law in the state beginning in January of 2015. This law is expected to affect the maintenance and spousal support awarded to ex-spouses in divorce cases in the new year, and its exact effects will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.

New Law

The new law represents a significant change when compared to the old alimony law that was previously in effect in the state of Illinois. In some cases, the payor may benefit from the change and in other cases, the payee will be favored depending on the facts present. While the overall framework for making an alimony determination will remain the same, important changes will be added.

The bill signed into law by the Governor adds language to the existing Illinois alimony statute that will require the court to consider income percentage guidelines in making a decision about awarding alimony payments. The idea of guidelines set by statute is something echoed in other areas of family and divorce law; specifically, statutory guidelines are regularly used to calculate child support payments and have been used in the state of Illinois as such for approximately 30 years.

Purpose of Guidelines

The use of statutory guidelines is meant to serve several purposes. One advantage of using guidelines in making payment determinations is meant to ensure more consistent awards. Other benefits include giving judges objective measures to use in determining both amounts and lengths of alimony awards, as well as giving divorcing parties a better idea of what to expect from a judge in the area of alimony, which can be especially useful during settlement discussions.

Specifics of the Guidelines

The new alimony law guidelines, which will go into effect in the new year, are based on a formula that considers the income of both divorcing parties. It allows for an alimony award in an amount calculated based on a percentage of the payee’s income being deducted from a percentage of the payer’s income. The guideline also sets limits on the amount of alimony that can be awarded based on a percentage of both party’s total gross incomes. The guidelines are only applicable to parties who earn less than a combined $250,000 per year. There will also be guidelines to calculate the length of such payments, based largely on how long the parties were married.

Divorce Attorney

The experienced Wheaton divorce attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC can assist clients with alimony concerns and the multitude of other issues that may arise within the context of divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Wheaton, Warrenville, or Chicago office.
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