Is There A Limit On The Amount Of Spousal Support Awarded?
Yes and no. The answer depends on several factors and formulas the court uses to determine spousal support or alimony. It is one of the main reasons why divorce is considered the most contentious issue you can experience. A Schaumburg spousal support attorney can help you calculate the support you should receive, but the amount may change if the court gets involved. It may not be what you expect, but with help from skilled lawyers, you can ensure you and your family get a sum you can use to support yourself.
While both parents recognize the need for child support, many are unhappy providing similar support to a partner they just divorced. However, spousal support is necessary for some situations, so spouses should understand the laws that cover them in detail. You can improve your chances of getting maximum spousal support if you work with an experienced divorce attorney.
When Is Spousal Support Necessary?
In Illinois, spousal support is called spousal maintenance, and it is not assigned to punish the spouse responsible for the marriage breakdown. As per state law, marital misconduct cannot be taken as a basis when the amount is determined. The maintenance is awarded to spouses so they can take care of themselves when they don’t have a partner to depend on post-divorce or to maintain the living standard they are used to.
For example, if a spouse earns less than their partner, they may ask for spousal support to take care of everyday needs or to give them sufficient time to get an education that can help them find decent jobs.
Family courts use discretion when ordering spousal maintenance. It is not awarded in every case. The court decides whether this type of support should be given based on certain factors and information the spouses have to provide. This includes arguments on whether they think maintenance is necessary or not. Some of the factors the judge considers to make this decision include the following:
Assets of Both Parties
This includes marital assets and those they own personally, i.e., separate assets. The court also considers sources of income earned by both parties, including revenue generated through owned property or assets they are about to possess. This also includes each spouse’s financial obligations for their children, whether they are from their or a previous marriage.
Needs of Both Parties
This includes both spouses’ ongoing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utility, debt, transport, etc. As mentioned before, these will be based on the living standard they were used to during the marriage. The age and health of the spouses are also considered.
Earning Capabilities of Both Parties
The court also considers the present and future capability of both party’s ability to earn an income. Besides evaluating their current income, they also consider their educational degrees and work training. If you ask to receive spousal support, the court will determine whether you have suffered any impairment that hurts your income-earning capabilities. This can include household duties, choosing to delay your education so you could take care of the children, etc. If you cannot support yourself, the court will also consider whether you have the means to continue your education or get job training post-divorce.
The Duration of the Marriage
The spousal support amount primarily hinges on the marriage duration. That’s because short marriages have not undergone factors that the family court considers when calculating an amount. For example, you may not have suffered career impairments in a one-year marriage because you didn’t have kids yet or are accustomed to a certain living standard.
Similarly, your spouse may argue that they should not have to pay for more years than the marriage lasted. But the court may consider other factors that can outweigh it. In one case, the court-ordered spousal support for a longer duration than the five-year marriage because the recipient had multiple sclerosis and was unlikely to recover or be capable of taking care of herself. However, in most cases, the longer the marriage, the higher the spousal maintenance award:
- > 5 years – 20% of the marriage duration.
- 5 to 6 years – 24% of the marriage duration.
- 6 to 7 years – 28% of the marriage duration.
- 7 to 8 years – 32% of the marriage duration.
- 8 to 9 years – 36% of the marriage duration.
- 9 to 10 years – 40% of the marriage duration.
- 10 to 11 years – 44% of the marriage duration.
- 11 to 12 years – 48% of the marriage duration.
- 12 to 13 years – 52% of the marriage duration.
- 13 to 14 years – 56% of the marriage duration.
- 14 to 15 years – 60% of the marriage duration.
- 15 to 16 years – 64% of the marriage duration.
- 16 to 17 years – 68% of the marriage duration.
- 17 to 18 years – 72% of the marriage duration.
- 18 to 19 years – 76% of the marriage duration.
- 19 to 20 years – 80% of the marriage duration.
- 20 years or longer – 100% of the marriage duration or indefinitely.
Calculating Spousal Support Payments
The duration of spousal support depends on the duration of your marriage. While judges use their discretion to determine the amount, they typically use a formula – 25% of the net annual income of the recipient is taken from 33% of the net yearly income of the one paying support.
The resulting amount is given to the former annually, and it cannot be more than 40% of the combined income of both parties. These guidelines apply only to cases in which both parties’ combined gross income is less than $500,000. If it is higher (such as in a high net worth divorce), the judge will evaluate other factors to determine an appropriate amount based on each party’s unique situation.
The support may have a time limit based on the circumstances surrounding each case and per the previous points. Once the term ends, the payer doesn’t have to give spousal maintenance anymore, and the recipient will be barred from receiving it.
If the court orders indefinite payment, there will not be a termination date for the spousal support. The payer has to keep making those payments till the court receives a modification request for changes or termination. In some cases, they may also review spousal maintenance at the end of a specific term by evaluating the circumstances of both parties. It helps them determine whether support should continue, be changed, or stopped.
If you are going through a high net worth divorce, it pays to have an attorney who can determine which income sources should be considered and deductions made to get net income. They can ensure those calculations are completed accurately. You may end up paying way less than you anticipated or get more than you realize.
When Spousal Support Can Be Terminated
Spousal support can be terminated before a term ends in Illinois in three situations:
Death of either party
If the recipient or the payer passes away, the payments stop automatically. The judge will order additional payments that a payer makes to a deceased recipient to be returned to them.
The recipient remarries
If you get remarried and get spousal support from your last partner, the court will terminate spousal support. The logic behind the decision is that you don’t need more help since you have a partner who can support you.
The payments will be terminated if you move in with a romantic partner or significant other and are the recipient.
If you are the payor, contact our Schaumburg spousal support attorney to determine if you have valid grounds to terminate support. If you are the recipient, a lawyer can ensure you get the maximum support you deserve and need to take care of yourself and your family.
Contact The Law Office Of Fedor Kozlov For A Consultation Today!
Whether you are going through a divorce, need an experienced Schaumburg spousal support attorney to determine the support amount, or need legal advice and compassionate aid, contact the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov today for a consultation. We understand how confusing spousal maintenance laws can be and can help you understand them so you can make informed decisions. Contact us by dialing (847) 241-1299.
Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys are highly experienced in providing custom solutions based on each client’s specific circumstances and requirements post-divorce. We have aided countless people such as yourself and are capable of handling any legal conflict involving families. Your children are going through an experience that is changing their worldview. The last thing they need is a parent who cannot support them financially and emotionally.
Let our attorneys shoulder your burden so you can stabilize your family. We will work to create a solid future for you with a custom strategy that can result in maximum support from the other party. Our successful track record is the result of a friendly and straightforward approach that puts our clients at ease, but we are not afraid of getting aggressive in court if it means you win.
Contact us for a free consultation, and we can discuss details privately. Each meeting we hold with our clients is strictly confidential, so you can rest assured nothing you say will be leaked to the other party or personnel.