Marriage and divorce are emotionally difficult events in their own ways. While former is a joyful occasion, latter can be an extremely distressful and traumatic experience for both spouses. However, after separation, it is only fair that they are able to maintain a living standard similar to pre-separation. Unfortunately, most spouses are unable to continue with the same lifestyle due to financial constraints. The common reason behind this limitation is that in many instances, one of them is unable to work full-time due to family obligations or perhaps one spouse may have sacrificed opportunities to support career advancement of their better half.
If these circumstances are true in any divorce case, it is imperative that a spouse who suffered from these factors must obtain spousal maintenance from their former spouse to maintain their lifestyle.
If you happen to be in that position and are seeking rightful spousal maintenance, it can be highly beneficial for your case to obtain help of an experienced divorce lawyer. However, it is also important to be familiar with the changes in Illinois laws pertaining to spouse maintenance.
New Spousal Maintenance Laws in Illinois
The new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act came into effect on January 1, 2018. This law contains primarily updated percentages which are used to award the amount of spousal maintenance. Unlike previous statute where percentages were based upon five-year increments, this amount will be based upon yearly incremental percentages which shall be calculated as per duration of the marriage.
Consequently, under the updated law, percentage in event of a marriage lasting less than 5 years is 20 percent. This percentage is increased by an additional 4 percent for every additional year for up to 20 years. For instance, for a marriage that lasted 10 years, percentage of maintenance will be 44 percent. If a marriage lasts 20 or more years, then the court may order maintenance for a period equal to marriage length or indefinite term.
Another adjustment that came into effect after the introduction of new statute is change of amount when these percentages become applicable. Previously, this amount was $250,000 and under the new law, it has been doubled to $500,000.
However, in case where combined income of both spouses exceeds $500,000, decision pertaining to amount and duration of maintenance will be made by the court after considering factors relevant to the case which include, but are not limited to, their age, health status, income level, value of assets, and their earning capacity, to name a few.
Understanding these legal technicalities can significantly help you in building a compelling case. Therefore, it is highly advisable to hire an experienced divorce lawyer. A skillful divorce lawyer is updated with every legal aspect pertaining to your case, which allows them to defend your rights and help you seek a rightful spousal maintenance amount.
If you want to file for a divorce and require assistance in determining the spousal maintenance amount, contact Casement Law Group at (847) 888-9300 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to help understand your rights and obligations. We offer free initial consultations.