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Along with child custody and division of marital property, the payment of maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is often one of the most pressing issues individuals going through a divorce may worry about. Whether you believe you may end up paying maintenance or may receive it, you should understand the laws that govern how courts calculate these important payments.

As every marriage and every divorce is different, so too are the amounts of maintenance that may be awarded.

What factors go into deciding maintenance (alimony) amounts in Illinois?

Courts may take into account several factors when deciding how much maintenance to award and for how long. These factors may include:

  • Length of the marriage;
  • Income and property of each of the parties;
  • Each spouse’s present and future earning potential;
  • Standard of living developed by the spouses;
  • Education and job training one spouse may have contributed to the other;
  • Financial needs; and/or
  • Loss of earning capacity one spouse may have incurred due to raising children or other domestic activities.

In addition, courts may take into consideration any other factors they deem necessary when awarding maintenance. Courts will not examine whether one party was at fault for the breakup of the marriage due to behaviors such as infidelity. In fact, Illinois no longer differentiates between fault and no-fault divorce since Senate Bill 57 went into effect in January 2016. For households earning $250,000.00 per year or less, Illinois now has guidelines for the calculation of maintenance.

For how long do maintenance (alimony) payments last?

Illinois now has guidelines for duration of maintenance payments based upon the length of the marriage. The duration of the marriage is calculated through the date that the divorce petition was filed. Because maintenance durations increase after passing certain milestones, it is critical that you consult with a divorce attorney to strategize on the best time to file for a divorce.

Maintenance can be modifiable based on a change in circumstances, such as if the payor’s income decreases. Spouses on both sides seeking modifications to alimony payments should do so with the aid of an experienced and dedicated Lombard, Illinois divorce attorney on their side.

Lombard divorce attorneys

Since 1979, the experienced Lombard divorce attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. have faithfully served their clients during their times of need. If you are going through or considering divorce and need help, contact our office for a consultation about your case. Our Illinois divorce attorneys serve clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lombard, Lisle, and Aurora.

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