Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

What Factors Influence the Amount and Duration of Spousal Maintenance Payments in Illinois?

 Posted on September 20, 2021 in Divorce

Sugar Grove divorce attorneySpousal maintenance, spousal support, and alimony are all terms used to describe financial support that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce. Traditionally, spousal support was paid by husbands to wives. However, Illinois law now treats women and men the same with regard to spousal maintenance entitlement. If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about how much spousal maintenance payments will be and how long these payments last. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance vary from case to case, but there are general rules that apply to all divorce cases in Illinois.

How Much Money Does a Spouse Receive?

A spouse may be entitled to maintenance payments if the couple agrees to maintenance in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or during the divorce process, or if the court awards maintenance based on the spouses’ financial circumstances. If the payment amount is decided by the court, a statutory formula is typically used to determine maintenance. A quarter of the recipient spouse’s annual net income is subtracted from a third of the paying spouse’s annual net income to determine the amount of maintenance. In some cases, Illinois courts deviate from this rule; however, this is usually how maintenance is calculated.

How Long Do Spousal Maintenance Payments Last?

The duration of spousal maintenance varies. Typically, maintenance is paid on a time-limited basis. This financial assistance gives the recipient spouse time to find suitable education and employment. However, permanent or indefinite maintenance may be available for marriages lasting 20 years or longer.

The longer the couple was married, the longer spousal maintenance typically lasts. However, if the recipient gets remarried, the paying spouse is absolved of his or her maintenance obligation. If the recipient is cohabitating with a romantic partner, the paying spouse can petition the court to have his or her maintenance obligation terminated, but this does not happen automatically. Maintenance also terminates if the paying spouse passes away. The recipient spouse is not entitled to continued payments from the deceased spouse’s estate.




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