The calculation of maintenance or alimony is determined by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. For couples who have a combined, annual, gross income of less than $250,000, certain factors are taken into consideration and a specific calculation is used by the courts to determine the necessary amount and duration of maintenance. This law allows for more consistency and, therefore, a clearer direction for the issue of maintenance in a divorce.
The formula set forth in the Act applies to couples with a combined gross income of less than $250,000 per year, and for whom the judge has decided that maintenance is appropriate, although “appropriate” can cause many fights in court. This formula provides for a maintenance award equal to 30 percent of the payor’s annual gross income, less 20 percent of the payee’s annual gross income. The amount of maintenance awarded when added to the payee’s gross income, however, cannot exceed 40 percent of the parties’ combined gross income.
While judges are not necessarily required to use this maintenance formula, they must provide an explanation (i.e., “findings”) if they choose not to follow these guidelines. This law helps us to work with the opposing party to reach a fair and appropriate spousal support arrangement while maintaining financial stability for both parties.
For couples with a gross annual income in excess of $250,000, there is no specific formula for calculating maintenance and, instead, the court relies on an array of factors set forth in the law, such as the parties’ respective incomes, and the lifestyle the parties enjoyed during the marriage.. In any event, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney review the specific circumstances of your case to determine whether you would be entitled to maintenance. Contact us today.
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