How Much Alimony Will I Have to Pay If I Get Divorced in Illinois?

IL divorce lawyerAlimony is not ordered in every Illinois divorce case. However, a spouse may be required to pay alimony in certain circumstances. If you are the breadwinner in your family and you plan to divorce soon, you may have questions about your alimony obligation.

Alimony payments, called "spousal maintenance" in Illinois, can be substantial. It is crucial that you understand your rights and responsibilities if you suspect that maintenance may be a factor in your divorce.

Spousal Maintenance May Be Negotiated or Ordered by the Court

There are a few different ways that a spouse may receive spousal maintenance through their divorce. Some couples sign prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements that entitle the lower-earning spouse to alimony. If you do not have an agreement describing your alimony obligation, you have the option to create one as a part of your marital settlement agreement.

Divorcing spouses may be able to negotiate a spousal maintenance arrangement during the divorce process. For example, one spouse may agree to pay the other spouse a certain amount of money every month for twelve months to give the spouse time to get back on his or her feet. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are unable to come to an agreement, the court will be left to make a decision for you.

Illinois Law Regarding Spousal Maintenance

If your spouse will not agree to a spousal maintenance arrangement, his or her only option is to petition the court for maintenance. Illinois courts only order maintenance if there is a legitimate need for this type of financial support.

Specifically, Illinois courts consider the following factors when deciding whether or not spousal maintenance is necessary:

  • Each spouse’s economic resources
  • Any reduction to either spouse’s earning capacity due to taking care of children or devoting time to home duties
  • The contributions made by each spouse to the marriage, whether financially or through child care
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, health, and earning capacity of each spouse

The Amount of Spousal Maintenance a Spouse Can Receive Varies

If spouses negotiate their own spousal maintenance arrangement, the amount the paying spouse pays will be based on that agreement. If the court orders maintenance, the amount will be based on a formula: One-quarter of the recipient's income minus one-third of the payer's net income equals the spousal maintenance obligation. Maintenance is capped at 40 percent of the spouses' combined net income. Illinois courts can deviate from the formula in some cases.

Spousal maintenance is usually ordered for a specified length of time - often based on the length of the marriage. A spouse's maintenance obligation ends when the recipient passes away, gets married, or moves in with a romantic partner.

Contact Our Hinsdale Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Spousal maintenance may be ordered by the court or agreed upon by the divorcing spouses. The DuPage County divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can provide legal support, representation, and skilled guidance during your divorce. Call our office at 630-920-8855 for a free consultation.




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