In a formula created by the Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Section Council, spousal maintenance will be more consistent across the state. For divorcing couples with a combined income of less than $250,000, maintenance awards will equal 30 percent of the payor’s gross income minus 20 percent of the payee’s gross income, not to exceed 40 percent of the parties combined gross income when added to the payee’s gross.
An illustration of the formula provided by the Illinois State Bar Association presents a scenario in which one spouse (the payor) grosses $50,000 a year while the other spouse (the payee) brings home $30,000. Thirty percent of $50,000 is $15,000 and 20 percent of $30,000 is $6,000. Subtract $6000 from $15,000 which totals $9,000 in potential spousal maintenance. Now, to determine if a cap applies, calculate forty percent of both parties combined income of $80,000, which comes out to $32,000. The payee’s gross income of $30,000 plus $9,000 exceeds the forty percent limit on combined gross income by $6,000 so only $2,000 is payable.
A separate formula will address the length of marriage when determining the period of payments – the duration of marriage can translate into a years, decades or a lifetime of maintenance payments. Roughly 1 year of spousal maintenance for each 5 years of marriage may be payable – reflecting 20 percent of time in the marriage. Longer marriages result in lengthier payment periods.
If you have questions regarding spousal maintenance or other issues related to divorce, contact the Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss, LLC. We are here to help.