Understanding the Changes to the New Illinois Maintenance Law

Spousal Support LawyerModifications to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act in the Sections 504 and 505 have been made that has changed the way maintenance or alimony is calculated in dissolution of marriage. These amendments were put into effect on January 1, 2015, and if you are planning to get a divorce in Illinois, it is imperative that you understand these new changes and how they affect the duration and amount of maintenance in your case.

How Illinois Maintenance Law Changed in 2015

Before the amendments were enforced, judges held a lot of discretion when determining the duration and amount of maintenance awarded in a particular divorce case. They were required to take into consideration twelve specific factors in each case, but making an accurate determination was often difficult as it was based solely on the judge’s decision.

The twelve factors are still used under certain circumstances, but new guidelines have been introduced that calculate amount and duration of alimony using standardized formulas.

Formula for the Amount of Maintenance

(30 percent of the payer’s income) – (20 percent of the receiver’s income) = Amount of maintenance

Note: The income of the receiver cannot exceed 40 percent of the combined income of both spouses.

Formula for the Duration of Maintenance

  • (Length of the marriage 0-5 years) x (20 percent)
  • (Length of the marriage 5-10 years) x (40 percent)
  • (Length of the marriage 10-15 years) x (60 percent)
  • (Length of the marriage 15-20 years) x (80 percent)
  • If the marriage lasted for more than 20 years, the decision is made by court whether to award permanent maintenance or equal to the length of the marriage

Circumstances When the New Maintenance Law is not Applied

If the combined gross income of a divorcing couple is above $250,000, the new guidelines of the IMDMA in Section 504 will not be applied and maintenance will be decided as it was done previously to these modifications. The twelve factors used for determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance under these circumstances are:

  1. The needs of each spouse
  2. The duration of the marriage
  3. The property and income of each spouse
  4. The earning capacity of each spouse
  5. Any impairment of the receiving spouse affecting the present and future earning capacity because of their devotion in performing domestic duties or having delayed or foregone training, education, career, or employment opportunities due to marriage
  6. The time required for the receiving spouse to acquire suitable training and education to seek employment, and whether that spouse is able to maintain the established standard of living through appropriate employment
  7. The standard of living that both spouses have become accustomed to during the marriage
  8. The physical and emotional condition of each spouse, along with their age
  9. Services and contributions by the receiving spouse to the training, education, career, or license of the paying spouse
  10. Any valid agreement made between the parties
  11. The tax consequences of the division of property
  12. Any other important factor that the judge finds to be equitable and just to determine maintenance

If you like to get more information about how these changes affect your divorce case or seek the legal services of a skilled family law attorney, contact the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. today at (847) 241-1299 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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