Many who are facing a divorce wonder if spousal maintenance is payable.
– The income and property of each spouse
– Their respective earning capacity, both present and future
– The, health, skills, employability, liabilities, property and the needs of each spouse
– The standard of living during the marriage
– The time necessary to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to support him or herself through training, education, or employment
– The duration of marriage
– Any existing agreements between the spouses such as a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement
– Other relevant factors
2019 Illinois Spousal Maintenance Calculation
The formula used to calculate spousal maintenance in Illinois is 33.3% of the payers income minus 25% of the recipients income to determine the amount of annual maintenance to be paid. Keep in mind that spousal support cannot cause one spouse to earn more than 40% of the couples combined income. In a straightforward calculation, a payer spouse that makes $100K a year and recipient spouse making $20K would look something like this:
$100,000 x 33-1/3% – $20,000 x 25% = $28,300 (check if amount exceeds 40% of combined income: 120K x 40% = 48K (NO)) so the recipient will receive just over $28,000 annually in spousal maintenance
The period of payment is informed by many factors such as whether training, education or employment will enable a spouse to support him or herself presumably at a higher income. If it is a matter of a spouse getting up to speed in the job market, temporary or rehabilitative maintenance may be appropriate. Certainly the duration of marriage will factor in also. Those married for shorter periods of time can expect a shorter duration of payments (durations of roughly half the number of years married) whereas divorcing couples who have been married for say 20 years or more, might expect payments that mirror the length of the marriage or even permanent maintenance. The calculation of spousal maintenance is really on a case by case basis considering many factors and are paid for varying duration. Even though the spouses may have been married a long time or may have disparate incomes does not mean that one spouse is entitled to maintenance on a temporary or permanent basis; the court will weigh all factors before ordering someone to pay alimony.
Imputing Income in a Spousal Maintenance Calculation
In a highly contested divorce, sometimes there is a concern that a spouse will quit their job or purposely earn less to avoid paying spousal support. The idea of paying an ex-spouse alimony after the marriage is over does not always sit well when there is lingering resentment. On the other side of that coin, a spouse might worry that they will have to continue to support a spouse that is perfectly capable of getting a job despite the fact they may have been unemployed or worked part time during the marriage.
Consider that if a spouse reduces their hours or quits their job in a divorce proceeding and spousal maintenance or even child support is appropriate, the court can impute the payers income, which means the court will assign additional income to a spouse before calculating the maintenance award. Despite the fact that they may not be working, the spouse can still be ordered to pay maintenance based on their earning capacity. If they were making 100k annually before they quit their job, the maintenance could be based on that amount.
The imputation of income can cut both ways, however. For example, if a recipient spouse worked early on in the marriage earning a good income but later became unemployed, the court may argue that the recipient could return to work earning a similar income and may impute his or her income to reflect income above zero before calculating maintenance. Because the court looks at factors such as present and future earning capacity of each party, income may be imputed for both the payer and payee in the spousal maintenance calculation.
Contact an Experienced Lake County Illinois Family Law Attorney
When you have questions regarding the new Illinois spousal maintenance calculation, contact the law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates PC for more information. With over 30 years of experience in family law, Ron will seek the most favorable results for family law clients in a divorce settlement proceedings.