Maintenance (aka Alimony)
Section 504 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets forth the guidelines for awarding maintenance, otherwise known as alimony, to a spouse. Maintenance is only available to those who have been married and is not an option for unmarried couples. An attorney at Gordon & Perlut, LLC can explain spousal maintenance possibilities in your case. Maintenance may be granted by a Court on a temporary or permanent basis for either spouse in amounts pursuant to certain guidelines or as the courts deem just, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering the following factors:
(1) The income and property of each party, including marital property apportioned and non-marital property assigned to the party seeking maintenance;
(2) The needs of each party;
(3) The realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
(4) Any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage;
(5) Any impairment of the realistic present or future earning capacity of the party against whom maintenance is sought;
(6) The time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or any parental responsibility arrangements and its effect on the party seeking employment;
(7) The standard of living established during the marriage;
(8) The duration of the marriage;
(9) The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties; and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
(10) All sources of public and private income including, without limitation, disability, and retirement income;
(11) The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties;
(12) Contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
(13) Any valid agreement of the parties; and
(14) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.
Once the Court determines that a party is eligible for maintenance, the Court must determine the amount of maintenance and the length.
AMOUNT OF MAINTENANCE
If you and your spouses’ combined income is less than $500,000, the guidelines for calculating maintenance are as follows: 33.3% of higher-earning spouses’ net income, less 25% of the lower-earning spouses’ net income. The party receiving maintenance shall not receive more than 40% of the total combined income of both parties. If you and your spouses’ combined income exceeds $500,000, please contact an attorney at Gordon & Perlut, LLC who can explain how spousal maintenance will be calculated.
DUARTION OF MAINTENANCE
The Court determines the length of maintenance by multiplying the length of the marriage at the time the divorce action is filed by the following factors:
|Years of Marriage||Factors|
|5 Years or Less||.2|
|5 years or more but less than 6||.24|
|6 years or more but less than 7||.28|
|7 years or more but less than 8||.32|
|8 years or more but less than 9||.36|
|9 years or more but less than 10||.40|
|10 years or more but less than 11||.44|
|11 years or more but less than 12||.48|
|12 years or more but less than 13||.52|
|13 years or more but less than 14||.56|
|14 years or more but less than 15||.60|
|15 years or more but less than 16||.64|
|16 years or more but less than 17||.68|
|17 years or more but less than 18||.72|
|18 years or more but less than 19||.76|
|19 years or more but less than 20||.80|
|20 Years or More||Equal to the length of the marriage or for an indefinite period of time as determined by the Court.|
One of the primary factors to consider, if both parties are able-bodied, is the age of the party seeking maintenance, the length of the marriage, and whether that party made certain professional/career sacrifices in order to raise the family. The most common maintenance case is where a spouse stopped working to stay at home to raise the parties’ children. In those situations, one of the questions is how long it will take that spouse to rehabilitate him or herself and get back into the workforce. Another question is what the lifestyle of the parties was during the marriage. For example, if the working spouse during the marriage made a very large income, the non-working spouse may have difficulty in maintaining the lifestyle to which they have been accustomed without continued support from the other spouse. The Court will also consider the non-marital estates of both parties when determining a maintenance award.
For any of your maintenance, divorce, or family law questions, contact us at Gordon & Perlut, LLC to review your options and set up a consultation.