Alimony, called spousal maintenance in Illinois, can be a crucial form of financial assistance after divorce. If you are getting divorced, you may have questions and concerns about spousal maintenance. Unique financial situations, including variable income, can make the process of calculating a reasonable spousal maintenance award much more complicated. If you or your spouse are pursuing spousal maintenance in your divorce case, an experienced lawyer can provide personalized guidance.
Calculating Net Income to Determine Spousal Maintenance
Illinois law sets forth a statutory formula for calculating alimony. The amount of alimony paid is equal to 33 percent of the payer’s net income minus 25 percent of the receiver’s net income. A spouse’s net income is calculated by taking his or her gross pay and subtracting state and federal taxes, social security, certain retirement contributions, certain business expenses, and any spousal support or child support obligations from a previous marriage.
Calculating a spouse’s net income is not always easy. For example, spouses who work as independent contractors and those with irregular bonuses and commissions may have an income that varies considerably from month to month. In cases like these, the spouse’s average income may be used to calculate maintenance. However, this is not always the best solution.
Maintenance Payments that Exceed the Threshold
Illinois law places limits on maintenance payments in certain situations. Maintenance cannot exceed 40 percent of the combined net income when added to the payee’s net income. When the statutory formula yields a maintenance award that is too high, the Court may need to deviate from the formula. The Court may also deviate from the typical maintenance calculation method if the couple’s combined net income is greater than $500,000 a year.
Contact a Palatine Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting a divorce in Illinois, you may need to address spousal maintenance. You may be able to negotiate an out-of-Court maintenance agreement through your respective attorneys, or the Court may determine the maintenance arrangement most appropriate in your case.
The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. represents both recipients and payers of spousal maintenance. We can help you understand how Illinois spousal maintenance laws apply to your case and take the steps needed to pursue a favorable outcome. Skilled Arlington Heights divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson has over 12 years of experience and can help you with even the most complicated spousal maintenance concerns. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 for a free, confidential case assessment.