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How Does Alimony Work in Illinois?

 Posted on May 21, 2021 in Spousal Support

IL divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you may have questions about alimony. In Illinois, alimony is called spousal maintenance or support. Alimony is financial assistance that a spouse pays to the other spouse after a divorce. In some cases, spouses agree on the amount and duration of alimony before they get divorced through a prenuptial agreement or separation agreement. In other cases, spouses negotiate a spousal maintenance agreement during the divorce process. When the couple cannot agree, the court will determine spousal maintenance issues on the spouses’ behalf.

Who Gets Spousal Support?

Spousal maintenance is typically used to reduce the financial burden created by a divorce. Both men and women may qualify for spousal maintenance. If the couple is not able to agree upon a spousal maintenance arrangement outside of court, the court will evaluate the spouses’ financial and life circumstances and determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate. Illinois courts consider the following factors when deciding whether to award a spouse alimony:

  • Any agreement the parties have reached regarding maintenance
  • Each party’s income and property
  • Each party’s financial needs
  • Whether time spent as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent reduced the income or employability of the spouse who is seeking maintenance
  • Each party’s present and future earning capacity
  • How long it would take the spouse who is seeking maintenance to be financially independent
  • How long the marriage lasted and what the standard of living was during the marriage
  • Tax implications

How Much Alimony Can You Get in Illinois?

If the court determines a spousal maintenance award, the amount of maintenance a spouse receives is based on a statutory formula. First, each spouse’s net income is determined. Next, 25 percent of the recipient spouse’s net income is subtracted from 33 percent of the payor spouse’s net income to calculate annual maintenance to be paid to the recipient spouse. Spousal maintenance is capped at 40 percent of the spouses’ combined net income.

How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last?

The duration of spousal maintenance payments varies from case to case. If the parties reached an agreement about maintenance out of court, that agreement will likely contain terms that address the duration of the payments. If the court determines maintenance, the duration of payments will depend largely on the duration of the marriage. The longer the couple was married, the longer the recipient spouse is entitled to maintenance. If the couple was married for 20 years or more, the court may award permanent maintenance. However, alimony is terminated if the recipient spouse remarries. If the recipient moves in with a romantic partner, the paying spouse may petition the court to terminate maintenance.

Contact a Wheaton Alimony Lawyer for Help

Divorcing spouses may negotiate their own alimony or spousal maintenance arrangement, or spousal maintenance may be awarded by the court. For help, contact one of the skilled Illinois divorce attorneys at A. Traub & Associates. Call us at 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation.


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