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 How will new alimony laws affect my case?

alimony lawyers

A new law has come into effect on January 1, 2015 which dramatically changed the maintenance provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. This new law provides a formula for computing maintenance (commonly referred to as “alimony”) based on divorcing couples’ gross income and the length of the marriage. This formula applies only to couples whose combined gross income is less than $250,000. Maintenance awards in Illinois were previously very inconsistent without the statutory maintenance formula because under previous law, judges were calculating maintenance based on the list of factors provided in sections 504 and 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Previous law made it difficult for attorneys to predict the amount of maintenance to be awarded, if any. Although under the new maintenance law judges are not required to use the maintenance formula, if they do not use the formula, they must provide an explanation as to why they chose not to use it.

Under the new maintenance formula, a maintenance award is calculated by subtracting 20% of the payees’ gross income from 30% of the payor’s gross income.  The resulting number is then added to the payee’s gross income.  The sum of the payee’s gross income, plus the amount of maintenance, may not exceed 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.

The duration of the maintenance award is computed by multiplying the number of years of the marriage by 20% if the marriage was 5 years or less, by 40% if the marriage was more than 5 years but less than 10 years, by 60% if the marriage was 10 years or more but less than 15 years, by 80% if the marriage was 15 years or more but less than 20 years, and if the parties were married for 20 years or more, the maintenance could be permanent or last the length of the marriage.

Although the new maintenance laws will provide consistency to maintenance awards, it currently raises a lot of questions such as whether the new statutory formula will apply to cases filed before January 1, 2015, or whether it will apply to maintenance modification orders entered after the effective date.

Additionally, the new maintenance law affects the amount of child support awards by adding the following provision to the definition of the net income: “obligations pursuant to a court order for maintenance in the pending proceeding actually paid or payable under Section 504 to the same party to whom child support is to be payable.”

(815) 207-9570

Call to schedule an initial consultation

To schedule a consultation with a dedicated and experienced family law attorney serving Will CountyDupage County, and Kendall County, call us today at (815) 207-9570.

 

 

The information on this site is not legal advice.  Retain an attorney licensed in the state which has jurisdiction over your matter before taking any action which affects your legal issues, legal marital status or custody arrangements, and follow the advice of your retained lawyer.