Illinois Spousal Support Calculator
Illinois Spousal Maintenance, Alimony & Support Calculator
While the calculator below is a helpful tool, there are many variables it may not be able to account for. A clearer, brighter financial future begins with a confidential, straightforward conversation.
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Illinois has established a specific formula for calculating the amount and duration of spousal maintenance obligations or awards. This formula was initially implemented in 2015 and underwent modifications in 2019 due to changes in federal income tax laws. Further adjustments were made in early 2022, which are elaborated on below.
Since 2019, Illinois alimony is determined by subtracting 25% of the recipient’s net income from 33.3% of the payer’s net income. However, the recipient’s share cannot exceed 40% of the household’s net income. Additionally, the statutory alimony calculations under 750 ILCS 5/504 now apply to couples with a combined gross income of up to $500,000 per year. If the combined annual gross income exceeds this threshold, the court has discretion in determining the amount and duration of the obligation or award.
Consider the following example: The paying spouse earns $100,000 per year in net income. 33% of this amount equals $33,000. The recipient spouse earns $40,000 per year, and 25% of this amount equals $10,000. The annual maintenance payment would be $23,000, derived from subtracting $10,000 from $33,000. This amount is permissible under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, as it is less than 40% of the combined income of $140,000.
For more information on estimating your spousal maintenance or alimony amount, feel free to use our Illinois alimony payment estimator.
Recent Changes to Illinois Spousal Support & Alimony
In 2022, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was updated once again. Among other changes, this update clarified the categorization of spousal maintenance into five different forms.
The five forms of spousal maintenance in Illinois are as follows:
- Temporary: This form provides support for living expenses and regular costs during the separation period and until the divorce is finalized. It terminates or is replaced upon divorce finalization.
- Fixed-term: Alimony payments are arranged for a predetermined duration in this form. It is commonly used when one spouse sacrificed their career to take care of the household and now needs time to gain a sustainable income, such as by completing an educational course.
- Reviewable: Similar to fixed-term, reviewable spousal maintenance requires periodic court reviews to assess its ongoing appropriateness. If deemed unsuitable, it may be canceled or modified.
- Permanent: This form requires the paying spouse to provide monthly support for the receiving spouse’s lifetime. It is only applicable for marriages lasting 20 years or more.
- Lump-sum: If the required spousal maintenance amount can be reasonably calculated before finalizing the order, it may be paid as a single lump sum. For instance, if both parties agree that $50,000 would be fair compensation for the receiving spouse to complete their university education and secure gainful employment, that amount could be paid in full upfront.
Who Pays Alimony/Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?
In Illinois, spousal maintenance aims to ensure both parties can regain financial stability after divorce. The higher-earning spouse during the marriage is responsible for making maintenance payments to the lesser-earning spouse. For instance, a stay-at-home parent who has been out of the workforce for an extended period may lack the means to attain an income comparable to their former partner’s. Spousal support helps maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to while providing time to find employment, pursue education, and save money.
Spousal support is only available to legally married couples. It is not awarded to unmarried partners in the event of a breakup, nor is it provided to children.
Factors in Determining Alimony Amounts in IL
When the combined gross income of a household exceeds $500,000, the court exercises discretion in deciding spousal maintenance or alimony rather than strictly relying on the state’s calculator.
The court may consider the following factors, among others, when determining alimony:
- Income, assets, and debts of each party
- Current and future earning capacities
- Limitations on earning capacity, such as lack of education
- Duration of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Child custody and parenting arrangements
- Age and health of each party
- Tax implications for each party
Duration of Spousal Maintenance Payments in Illinois
When determining the duration of spousal maintenance, the court takes into account the length of the marriage. The duration of alimony corresponds to a percentage of the years the spouses were married. The percentage starts at 20% for marriages lasting fewer than 5 years and increases by 4% for each additional year of marriage, capping at 80% for marriages of 19 years. For marriages lasting 20 years or more, permanent alimony is typically awarded.
For example, a 7-year marriage may result in a spousal maintenance order lasting approximately 32% of those 7 years, translating to a duration of roughly 27 months using this formula.
Contact Our Spousal Maintenance Attorneys Today
At Merel Family Law, our alimony attorneys possess extensive experience representing clients in numerous cases involving spousal maintenance. We are well-versed in advocating for our clients in court when litigation becomes necessary and negotiating settlements that hinge on resolving maintenance issues. Whatever your circumstances may be, you can depend on us to support you and safeguard your best interests.
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Why trust Merel Family Law to handle my Marital Finances?
- We don’t believe in ordinary. Our clients are the type of people who demand and deserve world-class legal representation, and they won’t settle for anything less. So, we do our homework, stay on top of changes and emergent issues, prepare for every scenario, collaborate when it makes sense and fight like hell when it doesn’t.
- We’ve worked hard to earn our reputation. We work just as hard to keep it. Our team of seasoned marital finance attorneys has worked diligently to help earn the respect of our Chicago-area colleagues, clients, judges, court systems and community, and we intend to keep it that way. In other words, our reputation speaks for itself.
- We believe in “winning” as painlessly as possible. All financial situations are unique, and while we prefer to approach our clients’ cases in a spirit of collaboration and negotiation, we are also not afraid to “take the gloves off” when needed. In other words, our clients’ answer to the question, “What does winning look like to you?” informs our strategies, tactics and tone.
- We’ll help you avoid unnecessary litigation. You’ll have peace of mind knowing we will never push you into a lengthy, costly and unnecessary court trial. We will, however, use all legal remedies to protect your rights.
- You’ll receive specialized expertise. Our seasoned marital finance attorneys have specific expertise in cases involving women, LGBTQ+ couples, fathers, high-net-worth individuals, dissolution of long-term marriages, spouses who own businesses, appeals and more. We’ll ensure you’re represented by an experienced attorney who understands and respects your situation, the law and how best to work through your unique challenges.
- You can reach us easily. Unlike other law firms, we know how important it is to manage our client’s expectations and be available to answer their questions and concerns outside of regular business hours. You can contact us by phone, text, or email around the clock.
- Meetings with your attorney are easy and convenient. Schedule an appointment at any one of our four in-person offices in Chicago, Hinsdale, Skokie and Highland Park, or conduct some or all of your alimony proceedings online via Zoom. In some instances, an in-court appearance may be required by the judge. If so, you’ll typically be given at least 30 days advance notice.