Spousal Support


Family Law Attorney Serving Clients with Spousal Support Cases in Illinois

When you file for divorce in Illinois, you will likely have many questions about the financial aspects of the dissolution of marriage. Spousal maintenance—also known as spousal support or alimony—is an issue that concerns many individuals who are planning to get divorced. For instance, the spouse who may be required to pay alimony will have questions about the amount and duration of the payments, as well as the tax implications. Similarly, the spouse who may be entitled to alimony payments is likely to have related concerns.

To learn more about spousal support in Illinois, you should reach out to an Illinois spousal support lawyer as soon as possible.

Seeking Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

Spousal maintenance, like most other financial issues involved in divorce, is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The first thing to know is that in order to obtain spousal maintenance, one of the parties must petition for it. A party can seek temporary maintenance while a divorce proceeding is ongoing, or for a maintenance order once the divorce has been finalized.

Once a party petitions for spousal maintenance, the next step is for the court to determine whether maintenance is appropriate. If the court decides that spousal maintenance is appropriate, then it uses guidelines to determine the amount and duration of the support or alimony for most cases.

How Courts Determine Whether Spousal Maintenance is Appropriate

How does an Illinois court determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate? Under 750 ILCS 5/504(a), it considers all relevant factors, including but not limited to:

  • Income and property of the spouses;
  • Needs of each of the parties;
  • Earning capacity of both spouses;
  • Impairment of present or future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance as a result of domestic duties or foregoing education and career opportunities for the sake of the marriage;
  • Impairment of present or future earning capacity of the spouse who would be paying maintenance;
  • Amount of time that would be necessary for the party seeking maintenance to support himself or herself through education, training, or other employment;
  • Length of the marriage;
  • Living standard during the marriage;
  • Age, health, and occupation of the parties;
  • All sources of income of each of the parties; and
  • Tax consequences of property division.

Guidelines for Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

Once a court decided that spousal maintenance should be awarded, it must determine the amount and duration of the maintenance. If a couple makes a combined gross income of less than $250,000 (increasing to $500,000), then the court uses new guidelines that were designed to make spousal support awards more objective and streamlined.

The guidelines provide a formula for the maintenance award: It will take 30 percent of the paying spouse’s gross income, and subtract 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s gross income, in order to determine the maintenance obligation (but only as long as the award does not exceed 40 percent of the combined gross income).  The duration of the payments will depend on the length of the marriage, and the percentage to be applied by the formula.

Contact an Illinois Spousal Maintenance Attorney

If you are getting divorced, an experienced Illinois spousal maintenance attorney can answer your financial and legal questions today. Contact the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. for more information about our experience handling divorce cases in Illinois.

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