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Posted on in Divorce

Barrington spousal maintenance attorneyChange is once again coming to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and this time it is taking aim at the calculation method for spousal maintenance, formerly known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is governed by Section 504 of the IMDMA and is the contribution that one party (the “Payor”) gives to the other party (the “Payee”) based upon a calculation which is currently dependent upon the GROSS* incomes of the parties. 

In order to determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate, the court will first make a determination using the facts of the case and applying them to various factors that they deem to be relevant. If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, they will then move forward and determine the guideline calculation.

Generally, guideline maintenance is awarded if the parties’ combined GROSS annual income is less than $500,000.00, and the Payor has no obligation to pay child support, maintenance, or both from a prior relationship.

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Barrington alimony lawyerWhen a married couple dissolves their marriage through divorce, they should both be able to continue living at a standard that is similar to what they enjoyed while they were married. Unfortunately, some spouses do not have the financial resources that will allow them to do so, perhaps because they earn less than their former partner, because their family obligations prevent them from working a full-time job, or because they passed up job opportunities during their marriage while supporting their spouse’s career advancement. 

In cases when a spouse is at a financial disadvantage following divorce, they may be able to receive spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) from their former spouse, especially if they made sacrifices to their own earning ability during their marriage or contributed to the education and training that allowed their former partner to increase the income they earn. However, divorcing spouses should be sure they understand recent changes to the law that affect spousal maintenance awards.

Updated Maintenance Laws in Illinois

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Schaumburg divorce attorneys, tax reform, spousal maintenance, maintenance payments, divorcing spousesIn December of 2017, Congress passed a landmark tax reform bill, and this update to the law made a number of significant changes that will affect nearly everyone in the United States. One key change that people should be aware of is how spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) will be taxed.

Taxes on Spousal Support

Following divorce, the spouse who earns a higher income may be required to make maintenance payments to the lower-earning spouse, with the amount and duration of these payments being based on the income each spouse earns and the length of the marriage. Under current law, maintenance is tax-deductible for the paying spouse, and it is considered taxable income for the receiving spouse.

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Schaumburg spousal maintenance divorce lawyerWhen a couple ends their marriage in divorce, each spouse should be able to maintain a standard of living similar to what they experienced during their marriage. When one spouse earns more than the other, the lower earning spouse may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony).

While the formula for determining the amount and duration of maintenance is straightforward, courts have some discretion when determining whether maintenance is appropriate. 

Illinois statutes list 14 factors that a judge should consider when deciding whether to grant maintenance:

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