If you are going through a divorce, you may be concerned about your ability to provide for yourself financially once your marriage has been legally dissolved. If you have relied on your spouse during the marriage to earn the majority of the income needed to meet your family’s needs, you may be able to receive financial support (known as spousal maintenance) following your divorce. On the other hand, if you earn more than your spouse, you may be concerned about your ability to cover your own expenses if you are also required to pay spousal support. By understanding how spousal maintenance is calculated, you can determine the amount you may pay or receive, allowing you to plan for how you will meet your financial needs once your divorce is complete.
Guidelines for Calculating Spousal Maintenance
Illinois law provides a formula for calculating spousal support obligations based on the income earned by divorcing spouses. Under this formula, 25 percent of the recipient’s gross annual income is subtracted from 33⅓ percent of the paying spouse’s gross annual income. The result will be the amount that will be paid on an annual basis, although this amount will usually be divided into 12 monthly installments. However, when the amount of maintenance is added to the recipient’s income, the total cannot be more than 40 percent of the spouses’ combined gross annual income.
To understand how these calculations will be performed, consider a situation in which Spouse A earns a gross income of $200,000 per year, and Spouse B earns a gross income of $75,000. Using the formula described above, $18,750 ($75,000 x .25) would be subtracted from $66,667 ($200,000 x .333…), resulting in $47,917. However, when this amount is added to Spouse B’s gross income, the result is $122,917. The couple earns a combined gross income of $275,000, and 40% of this amount is $110,000. This means that the amount of maintenance that Spouse B would receive would be reduced to $35,000 per year, or $2,917 per month.
What if My Financial Circumstances Change?
It is not uncommon for people to encounter changes in their lives after they complete the divorce process, and some changes may require a post-decree modification of a spousal maintenance obligation. Typically, a person requesting a modification will need to show that they have experienced a significant change in their circumstances. For example, if a person who is required to pay spousal support loses their job or experiences health issues that affect their ability to earn an income, they may request that maintenance payments be reduced, or even terminated.
Contact Our Oak Park Spousal Maintenance Attorney
At the [[title]], we can help you understand your rights regarding spousal maintenance during your divorce. Whether you expect to receive or pay spousal support, we can make sure the amount of support will be calculated correctly while also addressing other financial issues in the divorce, such as property division and child support. We can also help you file a petition to modify spousal support based on changes in your or your ex-spouse’s circumstances. To set up a free consultation, contact our Hillside spousal support lawyer by calling [[phone]].