Child Support and Alimony Calculations in Illinois

If you are currently faced with the possibility of a divorce, you may have questions about child support and alimony. Knowing how maintenance (formerly child support or alimony) is calculated in Illinois helps spouses know what to expect should a maintenance award be granted during proceedings. As of January 1, 2019, the way maintenance is calculated in Illinois changed, and being aware of the changes is a necessity for any individual who may be in a position to make (or receive) maintenance payments.

When is Maintenance Awarded?

In certain proceedings, such as for legal separation, dissolution of marriage, dissolution of a civil union, etc., a court may grant a maintenance award for either spouse. Before doing so, the court must determine if maintenance is appropriate. Some factors courts use in determining whether a maintenance award is appropriate are:

  • the income and property of each party;
  • the needs of each party;
  • the realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
  • the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties;
  • any valid agreement of the parties; and
  • any other factor the court expressly finds to be just and equitable

If the court grants spousal maintenance, the maintenance awards are in amounts, and for periods of time, as the court deems just.

Maintenance Amount

The way Illinois spousal maintenance costs are determined changed on January 1, 2019. Currently, if the combined gross annual income of the parties is less than $500,000, the amount of maintenance owed is calculated by taking 33 1/3 percent of the payor’s (spouse who earns more) net annual income minus 25 percent of the payee’s (spouse who earns less) net annual income. This is different from the previous law in which maintenance was calculated by taking 30 percent of the payor’s gross annual income minus 20 percent of the payee’s gross annual income.

Maintenance Duration

The calculation for determining how long maintenance must be paid by the payor to the payee has also changed. The new calculation effectively lowers the amount of time a payor is obligated to make maintenance payments. To calculate the duration of a maintenance award, the court multiplies the length of the marriage by set statutory factors. The factors as provided in the statute are as follows:

Statutory Factor Years of Marriage
.20 Less than 5
.24 5-6
.28 6-7
.32 7-8
.36 8-9
.40 9-10
.44 10-11
.48 11-12
.52 12-13
.56 13-14
.60 14-15
.64 15-16
.68 16-17
.72 17-18
.76 18-19
.80 19-20
Length of marriage or indefinite term 20 or more

Tax Consequences

One of the most substantial changes regarding spousal maintenance as of January 1, 2019 is the effect it has on the parties’ taxes. Maintenance payments are now non-deductible from the payor’s taxable income and are not included in the payee’s taxable income. This stipulation may be favorable to either party depending on the circumstances, so it is important for each party to know this information prior to the start of proceedings.

Call a Libertyville Family Attorney Now

If you have questions regarding spousal maintenance, or if you’re facing a possible legal separation or divorce, contact the Libertyville alimony and child support lawyers at Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg, LLC, and get the help of an experienced family attorney. Our attorneys go above and beyond to help make the separation process go as smoothly as possible for all parties involved, and work diligently to protect your rights.


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