Money is one of the most highly contested issues in nearly every divorce. When it comes to spousal support (sometimes called alimony or spousal maintenance), it pays to make sure you have a skilled divorce attorney fighting for your financial interests.
Whether you are on the paying or receiving end, you can rely on The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab. For more than 35 years, our founding spousal support attorney has been representing men and women in divorce and support cases throughout Chicagoland and beyond.
Is Support Warranted In Your Case?
Maintenance, which is sometimes referred to as alimony, is discretionary in Illinois. This means the judge has a choice as to whether or not maintenance is appropriate. The Illinois family law courts consider many different factors when attempting to determine if spousal support is warranted in a case. Some of these factors include:
- Financial resources available to both parties
- Each party's contributions to the marriage
- Standard of living throughout the marriage
- Age and physical condition of both spouses
- Education, work experience and earning capacities of the parties
Illinois Has A New Way To Calculate Alimony Payments
If you or your spouse qualifies for spousal support, you are likely to be affected by Illinois law effective Jan. 1, 2015. Changes to the maintenance laws give judges a framework to use when determining what level of maintenance is appropriate.
Essentially, this law provides a formula for how to calculate support in cases where the spouses' combined incomes are $250,000 or less. In calculating the amount of a spousal support award, it subtracts 20 percent of the recipient's gross income from 30 percent of the payer's gross income. However, the spousal support plus the recipient's gross income cannot exceed 40 percent of both parties' combined gross income.
In determining the length of the spousal support order, the new law will look at how many years the spouses were married. If the marriage lasted 20 years or more, a support order may be permanent. The length of maintenance is calculated as follows:
- Zero to five years of marriage: Maintenance duration is calculated by multiplying the years of the marriage by .20.
- Five to 10 years of marriage: Maintenance duration is calculated by multiplying the years of the marriage by .40.
- 10 to 15 years of marriage: Maintenance duration is calculated by multiplying the years of the marriage by .60.
- 15 to 20 years of marriage: Maintenance duration is calculated by multiplying the years of marriage by .80.
- 20 years or greater: Maintenance may last as long as the marriage or be made permanent.
Can Your Maintenance Be Terminated?
There are several acts that could terminate maintenance early. Maintenance could be cut off early if you marry somebody else or if you cohabitate with another person in a conjugal manner, regardless of whether that person is the opposite sex or the same sex. The two parties need not be involved in a sexual relationship for the court to determine that the relationship is conjugal in nature.
Learn More In A Consultation With Our Lawyer
We invite you to schedule a consultation with attorney Van A. Schwab. You can openly and honestly discuss your situation and concerns while obtaining his professional, straightforward counsel regarding your rights and options.
Simply call us at 312-702-1745 (in Chicago) or 847-208-4569 (in Skokie, Deerfield or Libertyville), or send us an email today.