Maintenance in Illinois

In Illinois, maintenance is formerly known as alimony.

How Maintenance is Calculated

Under current Illinois law, a court must first consider whether maintenance is appropriate. This is dependent on a number of factors, including the size and allocation of the marital estate, the spouses’ respective ability to earn income, any barriers to earning income that occurred during the marriage (i.e. one spouse stayed home with the child or children and the other worked), education, training and health.  Currently, the calculations involve taking 30% of the payor’s gross income and subtracting 20% of the payee’s gross income. That will result in the amount of maintenance to be paid but there is a 40% cap on the total amount of maintenance to be paid. The guidelines are also capped at a gross income of $500,000.00.  This is expected to change in January 2019 due to the change in the tax law that will eliminate the taxability and tax deductibility of maintenance.

There are also guidelines as to the length of the maintenance. These are calculated based on the number of years of the marriage.  Although permanent maintenance is not a given, it is strongly considered after the spouses have been married twenty years or longer.

Modification of Maintenance

Maintenance can be modifiable, indefinite or reviewable.  If maintenance is reviewable, a request to have the court review it must be made before the term of maintenance expires.

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