Spousal Support and Maintenance

Spousal Support Attorney Serving Will, DuPage and Kendall Counties

Divorce can cause major upheaval in the lives of both spouses. When one spouse makes substantially more money than the other, however, the financial upheaval can be uneven. Spousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance, is the legal method for evening out the impact of a divorce and preventing the lesser-earning spouse from being unfairly penalized. At Robertson Legal Group, LLC, we are experienced in handling alimony matters and many other family law matters. We work closely with our clients to gain understanding of their personal and financial situation so that we can aggressively and effectively advocate for their rights and interests.

Spousal Support or Alimony Laws in Illinois

Whether or not a spouse is entitled to spousal support is a matter that is determined by the court. The court uses numerous criteria to determine if an alimony award is needed and appropriate including:

  • The income and expenses of both parties
  • The lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage
  • Whether one party sacrificed a career for the career advancement of the other party
  • What would be required in terms of education or training for the lesser-earning spouse to become self-sufficient
  • The health and earning potential of both parties

Once a determination has been made as to the application of spousal support, the amount and duration must then be decided. In recent years, Illinois family law has changed as it applies to calculations of alimony. Under previous law, the amount and duration of a spousal support award was left to the discretion of the court. Current law provides a statutory formula for determining how much support is ordered and for how long. The amount of maintenance is determined using the following formula:

  • 30% of the payor’s gross income – 20% of the payee’s gross income = alimony award

There is a stipulation, however, that the alimony award plus the payee’s gross income may not exceed 40% of the combined gross income of both parties or the award will be reduced so that it does not. This formula can be somewhat confusing to those who are unfamiliar with it. At our firm, we can work the numbers for you and give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay or receive.

The formula for the duration of a spousal support obligation is slightly easier to calculate. It involves multiplying the duration of the marriage (in years) by the appropriate factor. Here is a table of the statutory factors:

Duration of Marriage (in years)Multiplication Factor
20+Permanent maintenance or the length of marriage

For example, if a marriage were to last for 8 years, alimony payments would last for 3.2 years (8 x 0.4 = 3.2).

To learn more about how alimony is determined in Illinois and what you can expect in your divorce case, contact us at 630-882-9117 to schedule a free initial consultation. We will look at your specific circumstances and provide our experienced opinion on how the law applies to your situation. Our firm works with clients throughout Will County including Plainfield, Aurora and Bolingbrook.