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Post-2015 IL Divorce Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator

Posted by Dominick R. Dolci | Jan 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

This January 1, 2015, new proposed amendments to Sections 504 and 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act have gone into effect. These changes implement many changes to Illinois divorces, and help standardize how maintenance (or alimony) is calculated.

**UPDATE**

Starting 2018, changes to Illinois maintenance laws have significantly affected how maintenance is calculated in divorces. This means if your divorce is filed in 2018 or later, the calculator we offer below may not apply to your case.

Fortunately, we have provided a brand new maintenance calculator for your use, available here. To learn more about the changes to Illinois maintenance laws, check out our new overview.

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If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call our legal office. We're here to help you make informed decisions for you and your family.

Overview of Changes to Illinois Family and Divorce Law in 2015

Before the new amendments to the IMDMA, Illinois judges were granted a fair amount of discretion when determining maintenance awards in Illinois divorce cases. More than anything, judges examined twelve unique factors and applied them to any maintenance judgements. As a result, it could be fairly difficult for Illinois families to estimate what their maintenance award might look like should they choose to get divorced. 

The new divorce law changes things. Although judges still actively consider these same twelve factors to determine maintenance awards in any Illinois divorce, the new law also creates standardized guidelines and formulas to more easily calculate the duration and amount of Illinois maintenance awards. 

Our Illinois Maintenance Calculator: Estimate Your Illinois Divorce Maintenance with Our Formula Below

First of all, your Illinois maintenance is divided into two main parts:

  1. Amount - how much maintenance you are awarded; and
  2. Duration - the length of time your maintenance will be awarded for

ILLINOIS MAINTENANCE CALCULATOR: FORMULA FOR DURATION

Calculating the duration of your maintenance is simple. Just take the length of your marriage and multiply it by the corresponding factor we have provided below. 

(Marriage of 0-5 Years) x (20%)

(Marriage of 5-10 Years) x (40%)

(Marriage of 10-15 Years) x (60%)

(Marriage of 15-20 Years) x (80%)

(Marriage of 20+ Years) – determined by court order -- often permanent maintenance of the full length of the marriage

ILLINOIS MAINTENANCE CALCULATOR: FORMULA FOR AMOUNT

Next, we can calculate your Illinois divorce maintenance amount. Simply use the formula below for a fair estimation of your maintenance award amount:

(30% of the payer's income) - (20% of the receiver's income)

*Keep in mind that the receiver's new income (aka the sum of their income and maintenance award) cannot be greater than 40% of the parties' combined income

2 Examples of Illinois Divorce Maintenance Calculations Using New Guidelines

Example 1: Maintenance Calculation in a Marriage with Two Incomes

For our first example, let's examine a marriage where both parties have a combined annual income of $300,000 per year. Additionally, the two parties have been married for 17 years.

Spouse 1's income = $200,000 per year
Spouse 2's income = $100,000 per year

In the case that the court determined maintenance should be awarded in this divorce, then maintenance would be calculated as follows - 

($200,000) x (30%) = $60,000 (Spouse 1)
($100,000) x (20%) = $20,000 (Spouse 2)

Then:
$60,000 (Spouse 1) – $20,000 (Spouse 2) = $40,000

As you can see above from initial calculations, Spouse 2 would be awarded $40,000 per year. In this case, though, the $40,000 of maintenance added to Spouse 2's annual income of $100,000 would make his new annual income $140,000. In this case, $140,000 is more than 40% of the parties' combined income of $300,000. 

See the following: 

($300,000) x (40%) = $120,000 - this is what 40% of the parties' combined income would be.$40,000 + $100,000 = $140,000 - this is what the new income of Spouse 2 would be based on the calculations above.

So, what happens next? 

The court will usually adjust the award so Spouse 2's new income is 40% of the parties' combined incomes. That means Spouse 2's award amount would be decreased to $20,000 per year, so that his new overall income will fall at $120,000 (to comply with the 40% rule).

Finally, the duration can be calculated as follows:

(17 years of marriage) x (80%) = 13.6 years of maintenance

In Conclusion: in this divorce, Spouse 2 would be awarded the following:

AMOUNT = $20,000 per year
DURATION = 13.8 years

Example 2: Maintenance Calculation in a Marriage with One Income

For our second example, let's use the following: our couple has an annual income of $150,000 per year, all earned by one spouse. The parties have been married for 17 years. 

Here's how we would calculate maintenance for this divorce.

Spouse 1's Annual Income = $200,000 per year
Spouse 2's Annual Income = $0 per year

In the case that the court determined maintenance should be awarded in this divorce, then maintenance would be calculated as follows -

($100,000) x (30%) = $30,000 (Spouse 1)
($0) x (20%) = $0 (Spouse 2)
$30,000 – $0 = $30,000

Based on the calculations we have outlined above, Spouse 2 would be granted a maintenance award of $30,000 per year. Because Spouse 2 earns an income of $0, their new income complies by the 40% rule. The court would not have to augment the award, and Spouse 2 would estimatedly be awarded maintenance of $30,000 per year. 

Lastly, we can perform a simple calculation to find the duration of maintenance:

(17 years) x (80%) = 13.6

In Conclusion: in this divorce, Spouse 2 would be awarded the following:

AMOUNT = $30,000 per year
DURATION = 13.6 years

Contact Dupage County, Illinois Divorce Lawyers at Dolci & Weiland

After calculating your Illinois maintenance with our formula above, you probably have some questions and thoughts about your estimated maintenance award. You might have additional concerns about how the new Illinois guidelines will impact you and your family in a divorce. If you do, don't hesitate to give your office a call. At Dolci & Weiland, our divorce lawyers have decades of experience and practice representing clients throughout DuPage County and Illinois. 

If you are considering divorce and wondering what your options are, we can help. We strive to provide our clients both our dedicated representation and unwavering support as we navigate the complexities of a divorce. We offer practical and targeted solutions which are tailored to the need of our clients and their families. To speak to a divorce lawyer and schedule a free divorce consultation, contact us today at 630-261-9098.

About the Author

Dominick R. Dolci

Managing Partner Dominick R. Dolci focuses his practice on criminal defense litigation and civil litigation. Dom graduated from John Marshall law school in 1990. He began his legal training in the Cook County States Attorneys Office where he worked at 26th and California. He then transferred ...

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