For many couples, divorce is a difficult decision and it affects every family member. A divorce is not something you can plan for in advance. Over time, couples are engulfed with irreconcilable issues, which force them to put an end to their dysfunctional relationship through legal means and mutual agreement. In the first few months of 2019, we have witnessed significant alterations to the state and federal divorce laws. These changes also have an impact on the Illinois spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support. Reaching out to an experienced divorce attorney will help you get through this difficult time. Let’s take a look at the various changes and how they could affect divorce settlements.
Spousal Maintenance Changes: Not Tax-Deductible (750 ILCS 5/504)
Under the new amendment, spousal support in Illinois is no longer tax-deductible from the spouse who is eligible for paying the alimony. Moreover, the alimony is no longer incorporated in the gross income of the recipient spouse. The divorce cases completed before the end of 2018 relied on previous old tax scheme, where the maintenance was classified as a tax-deductible for the payer, while the recipient has to report it as a taxable income.
Maintenance Barred (750 ILCS 5/504(b-1))
New changes indicate the maintenance award will be barred, unless a court order determines otherwise. The court is more likely to bar spousal support if the party is seeking spousal maintenance, regardless of the time period of the marriage until the commencement of divorce action.
Guideline Maintenance Awards (750 ILCS 5/504(b-1) (1) (A))
If the joint income of the couple seeking divorce is less than $500,000 and the pay or has no previous alimony or child support to cater to, then the total amount to pay is determined by using the following formula:
“33% of the payer’s net income, subtracted by 25% of the payee’s net income, the outcome figure will be the yearly maintenance to be paid.”
The new law indicates the recipients’ spousal maintenance and net income should exceed more than 40% of the former couple’s gross income threshold. It is highly advisable to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to settle your divorce proceedings.
Eligibility Criteria for Spousal Support
During the divorce proceedings, it’s essential to consider the factors a judge will rely on to determine whether to award spousal support, including:
- Consider the career of each spouse
- Consider the time period the recipient needs to complete any pending education, training and employment to help support themselves
- The earning capacity, income, property or residential needs are the main determinant factors
- The impact of the tax on the property division as mentioned in the divorce decree
- The judge will consider any education-related expenses contributed by the ex-spouse
- The standard of living during the time the couple was married
If you have filed for a divorce and require assistance in determining the spousal maintenance amount or want to schedule a free consultation, contact Casement Law Group at (847) 888-9300 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to help understand your rights and obligations. We are here to answer all your queries.