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Understanding Spousal Maintenance In Illinois

The one certainty in divorce is that life circumstances will change dramatically for everyone involved. Careful consideration must be given to financial issues as well as personal concerns. If you believe spousal maintenance — sometimes called alimony or spousal support — may be ordered in your case, the first step is to get clear, accurate information about relevant laws and how Illinois courts handle this issue.

Are You Concerned About What You Will Pay Or Receive After Divorce?

Relying on friends, family members or inexperienced lawyers for guidance on alimony could be a serious mistake. There are many misconceptions to beware of. The attorneys at Blacha Law Office offer experienced legal guidance regarding spousal maintenance and all other aspects of divorce.

Focused On Protecting Your Financial Stability And Future

It is important to understand that spousal maintenance orders are far from automatic in Illinois. Unlike child support, which is guideline-based and largely formulaic, whether you pay or receive alimony — and how much, for how long, can be determined according to more complex and subjective factors. Our work together will focus on:

  • Thoroughly assessing your financial circumstances and earning potential, as well as those of your divorcing spouse, to arrive at a realistic projection of whether the court is likely to award spousal maintenance
  • Preparing diligently and building the strongest case possible to ensure that the outcomes of negotiations, mediation or litigation to resolve spousal maintenance are fair to you
  • Anticipating and addressing all potential areas of dispute, such as the amount and duration of payments necessary to rehabilitate a nonworking spouse or whether permanent maintenance is appropriate due to age, employability or other factors

Changes To Illinois Spousal Maintenance Laws

As of Jan. 1, 2019, the Illinois income threshold to determine if alimony is warranted increased from a combined gross annual income of $250,000 to $500,000. This means spousal maintenance will be a component for more high net worth couples who are getting divorced.

Also, spousal maintenance amounts will be calculated differently beginning in 2019. The court will subtract 25 percent of the payee's net annual income from 33 1/3 of the payor's net annual income. Previously, the guideline was calculated by subtracting 20 percent of the payee's gross annual income from 30 percent of the payor's gross annual income.

State and federal laws affecting alimony and other aspects of divorce occur often. It is critical to work with a lawyer who regularly handles Illinois family law cases, and who therefore stays current with changes to the law.

Trusted Legal Guidance For Spousal Maintenance

Whether you believe alimony will be a contested issue in your divorce or simply want to be fully informed and avoid surprises as you work toward an agreement, please contact our law office today. We offer a free initial consultation focused on your most important questions and concerns. Call 630-283-1987. We have offices in Naperville, Burr Ridge, Chicago and St. Charles, and we serve clients in DuPage, Will, Cook, Kane and Kendall counties. We are also fluent in Polish.