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Aurora Maintenance and Spousal Support Lawyer

There are several different types of Maintenance a court may order:

(a) Temporary: Temporary maintenance is available to a spouse requiring support while the divorce is pending. A divorce can take a year or more to finalize. When the divorce becomes final, temporary maintenance ends.

(b) Permanent: This type of spousal support is permanent, absent some other change in circumstances. For example, a judge will award permanent maintenance, when one spouse is unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental disability.

(c) Rehabilitative: This type of spousal support is given to a spouse who needs time in order to become financially independent. Rehabilitative maintenance generally has a specific time frame, and ends when the receiving spouse becomes financially independent. For example, this type of support is available to someone who hasn't worked in many years or had foregone securing an education due to domestic responsibilities. This Rehabilitative maintenance is designed to allow the receiving spouse time to secure gainful employment or to complete their education.

(d) Reviewable: This type of spousal support is reviewable, usually after a set period of time. For example, a judge will award reviewable maintenance, and will order the parties to return in two years to determine if the receiving spouse should continue to receive maintenance.

(e) In gross: This type of spousal support is given as a "lump sum", and is usually entered by agreement of both parties. For example, a party may agree to an inequitable distribution of the marital estate in exchange for waiving any further "maintenance" issues.

(f) Unallocated: This type of spousal support is combined with a child support obligation, and is usually entered by agreement of both parties. There are considerable tax benefits to Unallocated Support, in which the party paying the support will be allowed to take the total amount as a deduction.

If the parties cannot agree on whether maintenance should be made part of the Marital Settlement Agreement, a Court may, in its discretion, award or deny maintenance.

Understanding Maintenance or Spousal Support

Parties are entitled to have a similar standard of living after a divorce decree has been entered, as they would have enjoyed had they remained married. In determining maintenance, the parties will look to the length of the marriage and the respective incomes of both parties. In instances where there is a dramatic discrepancy in income, or that one party has made "Sacrifices" by supporting the other spouse, an award of maintenance may be appropriate. Courts will look at a variety of factors and in its discretion will either grant or deny a specific award of maintenance.

Calculating Maintenance or Spousal Support

Effective January 01, 2016 the Illinois Legislature has created a formula to calculate child support once the Court determines that an award of maintenance is appropriate. This formula is contained in 750 ILCS 5/504.

The factors in determining whether maintenance is appropriate are:

(1) the income and property of each party, including
marital property apportioned and non-marital property assigned to the party seeking maintenance as well as all financial obligations imposed on the parties as a result of the dissolution of marriage;
(2) the needs of each party;
(3) the realistic present and future earning capacity
of each party;
(4) any impairment of the present and future earning
capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage;
(5) any impairment of the realistic present or future
earning capacity of the party against whom maintenance is sought;
(6) the time necessary to enable the party seeking
maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or any parental responsibility arrangements and its effect on the party seeking employment;
(7) the standard of living established during the
(8) the duration of the marriage;
(9) the age, health, station, occupation, amount and
sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties;
(10) all sources of public and private income
including, without limitation, disability and retirement income;
(11) the tax consequences of the property division
upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties;
(12) contributions and services by the party seeking
maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
(13) any valid agreement of the parties; and
(14) any other factor that the court expressly finds
to be just and equitable.

In the event the Court determines that an award of maintenance is appropriate the Court will then apply the following formula as follows to determine the amount and duration of maintenance:

Amount and duration of maintenance. If the court determines that a maintenance award is appropriate, the court shall order maintenance in accordance with either paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection (b-1):
(1) Maintenance award in accordance with guidelines.
In situations when the combined gross income of the parties is less than $250,000 and the payor has no obligation to pay child support or maintenance or both from a prior relationship, maintenance payable after the date the parties' marriage is dissolved shall be in accordance with subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph (1), unless the court makes a finding that the application of the guidelines would be inappropriate.
(A) The amount of maintenance under this
paragraph (1) shall be calculated by taking 30% of the payor's gross income minus 20% of the payee's gross income. The amount calculated as maintenance, however, when added to the gross income of the payee, may not result in the payee receiving an amount that is in excess of 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.
(B) The duration of an award under this
paragraph (1) shall be calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage at the time the action was commenced by whichever of the following factors applies: 5 years or less (.20); more than 5 years but less than 10 years (.40); 10 years or more but less than 15 years (.60); or 15 years or more but less than 20 years (.80). For a marriage of 20 or more years, the court, in its discretion, shall order either permanent maintenance or maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage.

In certain rare occasions the court can deviate from theses guidelines if the court makes specific findings where a deviation is necessary to ensure the equitable distribution and/or allocation of assets and financial obligations. Keep in mind, these statutory guidelines only apply to parties whose income is less than $250,000.00 (Two Hundred Fity-Thousand Dollars and No/100).

Contact an Aurora Maintenance Attorney

Ideally, it would be in the best interest of all parties to come to an agreeable resolution to your maintenance issues. However, if you find that you are constantly in conflict when it comes to a maintenance obligation, you may need to have a Court decide the issue. Court's will always consider what is equitable to both parties and has the discretion to make that decision. If you have questions or need an experienced Family Law Attorney, please contact my office for a free consultation. We will guide you through the process and will develop a strategy to achieve the best possible results.

Contact an Aurora Family Lawyer for legal representation in any

Maintenance or Spousal Support matter today.


The Law Offices of David Lee is available in Kane, Kendall, Dupage and Dekalb Counties

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