DuPage County Spousal Maintenance Attorneys

Warrenville Spousal Support Lawyers

Lawyers for Matters of Alimony or Spousal Support in Wheaton, Naperville, and Aurora Areas

In many marriages, one spouse stays at home and takes care of the children and is responsible for managing the household, while the other works outside the home and provides financial support for the family. For spouses who remained home and did not work outside the home during the marriage—or whose education or work history is significantly less than that of his or her spouse—divorce can be financially stressful.

At the Wheaton law firm of McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., our skilled lawyers are equipped to help you explore options to mitigate the impact of divorce, including spousal maintenance, when appropriate. With more than 65 years of family law experience, we understand the challenges that you might be facing as you look to the future. Our team is committed to assisting you in obtaining the security and financial stability you need to move on to your new post-divorce life.

Spousal Maintenance Laws in Illinois

Spousal maintenance, sometimes called alimony or spousal support, refers to payments made by one spouse to the other to offset economic disadvantages for a specific period following a divorce. According to Illinois law, maintenance is not automatically ordered as part of a divorce judgment. In practice, this means that unless the parties have already agreed on a support arrangement—including in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement—spousal maintenance orders are to be based on a finding of actual need by the requesting spouse.

When determining whether spousal support, formerly known as alimony, should be awarded, an Illinois court must consider a number of factors, including:

  • The income and property of both spouses;
  • The needs of each spouse;
  • The present and future earning capacity of the spouse;
  • Whether the requesting spouse provided childcare or delayed or gave up education or career opportunities because of the marriage;
  • Arrangements for the couple's children;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age and health of the parties;
  • The parties' standard of living during the marriage; and
  • Any other factor found to be relevant to a spouse's need.

Once maintenance is determined to be appropriate, the court will proceed to calculate the amount and the length of time during which payments will be made pursuant to statutory guidelines.

Calculating a Spousal Maintenance Award in Kane County

Illinois law provides a formula for the calculation of spousal support orders to be used in most cases where the spouses' combined annual income is less than $500,000 and the paying spouse has no prior obligations for maintenance or child support. When the statute is applicable, the amount to be paid is a function of each spouse's net income: 33 1/3 percent of the paying spouse's income minus 25 percent of recipient's income, within specified limits (a cap of 40 percent of combined income). The order's duration is found as a percentage of the length of the marriage, in accordance with a weighted scale provided in the statute. Longer marriages result in relatively longer maintenance orders, and in marriages of over 20 years, permanent maintenance is likely to be ordered.

When the formula is not applicable, or if the court determines that extenuating circumstances exist, the court has the discretion to enter an order of its own - known as a deviation from statutory guidelines. For example, if your spouse has a particularly high net worth or previous support obligations, it is up to the court to determine how much maintenance should be paid. Whether you are seeking spousal maintenance or are being asked to support your former spouse, our experienced attorneys are ready to assist you in protecting your rights. We can even assist you in proceedings for temporary maintenance while your divorce is pending.

The spousal support laws have evolved substantially over the last several years, including the calculation change from gross income to net income and the elimination of unallocated support obligations. The tax implications have also significantly changed since the 2019 tax reform.

Let Us Help

Despite the efforts of lawmakers to standardize spousal maintenance in Illinois, there are often many details that must be considered on an individual basis. That is why it is important to retain the services of a highly skilled divorce lawyer at McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. today. Contact our office to schedule your free initial consultation so that you can get the answers you need to make an informed decision on how to proceed. Call 630-407-1200 for a free consultation. Our firm serves clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, Cook County, and the rest of Northern Illinois.

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