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New Maintenance Guidelines for Illinois Divorce Settlements in 2015

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

spousal maintenance in Illinois, Naperville divorce attorneyIllinois law stipulates that property or assets that couples acquire in the course of a marriage are to be equitably divided in the event of a divorce. However, this does not imply that all of the joint assets will be split 50 percent between the two partners.

January 2015 Ushered in New Law

Prior to January 2015, maintenance determinations were left to the discretion of Illinois family court judges. Judges were authorized to use their authority and best judgment to determine what would be an equitable division of assets per each couple’s unique circumstances.Mathematical formulations were used to determine child support, but for spousal support or, maintenance as it is commonly referred to in Illinois, there was no mathematical formula for a judge to reference.

The family court judge would make the determination as to whether or not a spousal maintenance order was necessary. The judge would also determine what amount of maintenance would be paid and for what time period.

Guidelines Are Set to Standardize All Maintenance Award Formulas

The recent Illinois spousal maintenance guideline was signed into law by Governor Quinn; these guidelines are meant to make the determination of spousal maintenance time periods and amounts more uniform across all Illinois divorce cases. Prior to the law being passed, divorce and maintenance settlements differed vastly across Illinois due to the variety of family court judges and their personal methods used to determine maintenance awards.

Maintenance will still have to be determined in accordance with the statutory guidelines as set out in Section 504(a) of the Marriage Act. The following factors will be considered:

  • Both partner’s income;
  • Each partner’s earning abilities, both in the future and currently;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Ownership of properties; including any property awarded in a divorce settlement; and
  • Standard of living that was established while married.

Under the new law, the judge now has to apply a mathematical maintenance formula in order to determine any maintenance payment amounts. Maintenance time periods are determined by the judge using a multiplication factor that is based on the amount of years of the marriage.

If you are considering a separation or divorce, a Naperville family law attorney is a valuable resource to help understand all of your options. Please call the Pesce Law Group, P.C. today. Your initial consultation is complimentary and we look forward to speaking with you.

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