Alimony in Illinois: The New Law for 2015
A new law will soon be passed that will make calculating spousal support in Illinois easier and unified across the State.
When two spouses get divorced, the judge looks at certain factors to determine the spousal support, or maintenance agreement. These include the current and future incomes of each party, the couple’s assets, the duration of the marriage and other contributions to the marriage (e.g., one person working while the other attended school). However, estimating the alimony in Illinois ahead of time is difficult, since currently, there is not a law on how to calculate the dollar amount. In the case of child support, factors are set—20% of income would go to child support for one child; 28% for two, etc. However, in the case of spousal support, judges make the final decisions on dollar amounts based on the information presented. Since the judgments are subjective, alimony in Illinois varies widely.
In January of 2015, an amendment to law 750 ILCS 5-504 will go into effect, and will set forth a formula for calculating spousal support. The formula determines the amount and duration of the maintenance.
When one party is entitled to spousal support, and the combined income is less than $250,000, the following formula will soon be used to calculate maintenance:
The amount of 20% of the lower grossing spouse’s income is subtracted from 30% of the higher grossing spouse’s income. This amount is used to determine the annual maintenance. Also, the maintenance cannot exceed 40% of the combined gross income of both parties. Then a multiplying factor is applied to the maintenance agreement based on the length of the marriage to calculate the final dollar amount :
. 0-5 years (.20);
. 5-10 years (.40);
. 10-15 years (.60);
. 15-20 years (.80).
Marriages longer than 20 or more years, may receive a court order of permanent maintenance or maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage.
So should you wait until 2015 to get divorced? Although the law has not officially taken effect, we see that many judges have already begun using the calculation in determining spousal support. At the very least, a good attorney will be aware of the law and can prepare you for parallel circumstances.
If you have questions about alimony in Illinois, the experienced family law attorneys at Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD can provide answers. Contact us today at 847.944.9400.