How to Determine Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

The divorce process is oftentimes very complex. Each divorce is different, so each situation will go down different avenues and will produce different results. Many divorce cases will include spousal support; yet, other cases will not allow it.

For each marriage that includes spousal support, there is no way to estimate the exact amount without considering child support, combined gross income, and so-called “multiple family situation.” Divorce is not a “one size fits all” type of situation.

There are several procedures that must be followed in each divorce case, but no two divorces are the same—including the cause of divorce, the number of children involved, and the determination of if spousal maintenance is appropriate.

Requirements for Spousal Maintenance

The amount of maintenance will be taken out the payer’s net income to pay child support. However, maintenance has to be determined before child support, which will decrease as maintenance increases.

Unlike spousal support, maintenance is oftentimes taxable for income.The court will first need to make an agreement on whether or not a spousal maintenance award would be appropriate after reviewing all relevant factors of the divorce. If maintenance is considered appropriate in the specific divorce situation, then it is important to determine if guidelines are applicable.

To qualify for spousal maintenance, the combined gross income must be no more than $250,000, and there is no multiple family situation, such as a previous marriage with children.

Gross Income and Multiple Family Situation

The $250,000 rule applies to some spouses who are planning to divorce. There is no specific timeframe indicating if the gross income of $250,000 is supposed to go into effect:

  • At the time of filing for divorce;
  • The tax year before the filing;
  • The average during the marriage; or
  • Time of the trial.

The “no multiple family situation exists” threshold has also been considered ambiguous. Now, the phrase reads, “the payer has no obligation to pay child support or maintenance or both from a prior relationship.” Any children from a previous marriage do not have to be considered in child support or spousal maintenance payments.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce can make for a very confusing and emotionally draining process, with each spouse being greatly concerned about their children and assets. At Abear Law Offices, we understand your concerns and will make your needs of caliber importance. Since 2003, we have taken our work seriously and have assisted in giving our clients the best case outcomes possible. If you are going through a divorce, call a skilled Wheaton divorce attorney at 630-904-3033 to schedule your free initial consultation.