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Alimony and Maintenance Attorneys in Naperville

DuPage County Spousal Support and Maintenance Lawyers

In Illinois, an equitable division of the marital estate means that the divorce is not an undue financial burden on either party. Spousal maintenance is a key component in this process, ensuring that a spouse who earns significantly less than their former partner can maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed during their marriage. Broadly speaking, the amount and duration of payments is tied to the economic circumstances of the parties and the length of the marriage. Many judges also order temporary maintenance to assist people who require immediate financial assistance.

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we routinely handle both simple and complex property division matters. We understand both the financial and emotional value of marital assets and maintenance payments, and we strive to ensure that the final decree reflects both these imperatives.

Factors to Consider

Under Section 504 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court considers both the payor spouse's ability to provide and the payee spouse's economic need. Specifically, the court may examine the following factors in an award of temporary or permanent maintenance:

  • Each party's income and property,
  • Financial needs of each party,
  • Present and future earning capacity, including any impairment and the time needed for the spouse to become self-supporting,
  • Duration of the marriage,
  • Standard of living during the marriage,
  • Any non-economic contributions,
  • Age, physical health, and emotional health of each spouse,
  • Tax consequences,
  • Agreements between the spouses, and
  • Any other factors the court considers relevant.

No maintenance award is automatic, and therefore, most judges order temporary maintenance as well as permanent maintenance on a case-by-case basis.

Amount and Duration

Temporary maintenance ends when the divorce is final. The amount is often linked to the recipient spouse's short-term needs. Many divorcing spouses may lack the resources to pay attorneys' fees, moving expenses, utility deposits, daycare enrollment fees, and other such costs.

For rehabilitative and permanent maintenance, the law provides a formula to use as a baseline amount and duration. The judge may depart from the statutory guidelines, either up or down, but there must be a specific finding, in the record, in support of such deviation. In most cases, the amount is 30 percent of the payor's gross income minus 20 percent of the payee's gross income (not to exceed 40% of the parties' combined gross incomes when added to the payee's gross income), and the duration is based on the length of the marriage.

Assume that a husband and wife are divorcing after being married for 15 years. The husband's gross income is $100,000 per year, and the wife's is $40,000 per year. Pursuant to 504(b-1), the wife would receive $22,000 ($30,000 minus $8,000) per year for 9.6 years.

If spousal support/maintenance is an issue in your divorce, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. today at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation. We focus on family law in DuPage and surrounding counties.

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