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How is the Amount of Spousal Maintenance Determined?

 Posted on September 19, 2023 in Spousal Maintenance

shutterstock_2203932789-min.jpgSpousal maintenance is an important financial consideration for many divorcing couples. The amount of spousal maintenance awarded, if any, will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. The court will consider many factors, including the length of the marriage, the income and assets of each spouse, and the needs of each spouse.

Seek the help of a knowledgeable spousal maintenance attorney to help calculate a payment estimate. An attorney can be invaluable throughout the property division process and aggressively represent you and your best interests if necessary.

Factors That Determine Spousal Maintenance Amounts

Spousal maintenance is not awarded automatically; spouses can agree on a maintenance award together, or the court must determine that one spouse needs financial assistance from the other spouse to maintain a reasonable standard of living.

The factors the court will consider when determining the amount of spousal maintenance to award as outlined in the Illinois statute, include:

  • The length of the marriage

  • The income and assets of each spouse

  • The standard of living established during the marriage

  • The needs of each spouse

  • The earning capacity of each spouse

  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage

  • The health of each spouse

  • The age of each spouse

How Do Illinois Courts Calculate Spousal Maintenance Payments?

Illinois law uses a percentage-based formula to calculate spousal maintenance payments. The formula is:

(33.3 percent of the payor's net income) - (25 percent of the receiver's net income) = Amount of monthly payments

Spousal maintenance payments cannot exceed 40 percent of the paying party's combined net income. This is considered the guideline method and is the option the court will primarily use when deciding on spousal maintenance payments.

In some special circumstances, the court may choose a non-guideline method. The non-guideline method is used when the guidelines may not be appropriate for cases where the parties are high-income ($500,000 or greater) or where there are other complex financial factors (previously established child support or maintenance) involved.

How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last?

The spousal maintenance payment duration varies based on a case’s specific circumstances. In general, the longer the marriage the greater the percentage. Illinois law provides some basic guidelines:

  • If the marriage was five years or less, the spousal maintenance payments will generally last for 20 percent of the length of the marriage

  • If the marriage was more than five years but less than ten years, the spousal maintenance payments will generally last for 30 percent of the length of the marriage

  • If the marriage was more than ten years but less than twenty years, the spousal maintenance payments will generally last for 40 percent of the length of the marriage

  • If the marriage lasted twenty years or more, the spousal maintenance payments may last for an indefinite period

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney

The Pesce Law Group, P.C. lawyers are experienced and readily available to handle your spousal maintenance matters. For a Naperville, IL spousal maintenance attorney who can explain your options, formulate a strategy, and advocate for a favorable solution, call 630-352-2240.

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