Alimony, 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: