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In January 2015, amendments to Section 504 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect, which provide a streamlined process for calculating alimony payments. This recent change to the law provides guidelines for calculating maintenance in households earning a combined income of $250,000 or less per year.

If you have already agreed to a maintenance support payment schedule with your spouse before the law went into effect, you may not be able to change the maintenance amount or duration solely by virtue of the new law. However, with the aid of an attorney you may be able to petition the court to modify the maintenance payments should certain circumstances arise.

2016 Illinois maintenance payment calculator

In the event that it is determined that a maintenance award is appropriate, using a relatively simple bit of arithmetic, judges (and parties to divorce proceedings) can easily calculate the amount of maintenance likely to be paid and over what period of time. While this calculation is no guarantee of the maintenance amount it nonetheless provides a road map for both parties to help them understand possible outcomes.

Length of maintenance payments

Courts may use the following table in determining the duration of maintenance (alimony) payments:

Length of marriage Multiplier
0 – 5 years 20 percent
5 – 10 years 40 percent
10 – 15 years 60 percent
15 – 20 years 80 percent

Courts will take the years of duration of the marriage and multiply it by a percentage, thus giving the years of duration of maintenance. In cases where the marriage duration exceeds 20 years, judges may award maintenance payments of a duration equal to that of the marriage or permanently.

Amount of maintenance payments

Courts may utilize a guideline formula to determine the amount of maintenance that will be paid over the determined time period. The Illinois guideline is calculated:

  • (30 percent of the payer’s gross income) – (20 percent of the receiver’s gross income)
  • Example: ($100,000 x 0.30) – ($50,000 x 0.20) = $20,000 ($30,000 – $10,000)

However, under the new law, maintenance recipients may not receive more than 40 percent of the combined gross income of the parties.

Is maintenance guaranteed in Illinois?

Even with the change in how maintenance payments are calculated, judges still take into account several factors to decide if payments should be awarded in the first place. These factors can include, but are not limited to:

  • How long the marriage lasted;
  • Property and other assets of each party;
  • Each spouse’s present and future earning potential;
  • Standard of living developed during the course of the marriage; and
  • Contributions to education and job training made during marriage.

Lisle divorce attorneys

For a legal consultation about your divorce, contact the experienced Lisle divorce attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. Our law firm routinely represents clients throughout Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lombard, Lisle, and Aurora.

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