Illinois Maintenance Guidelines

Spousal maintenance is a complex and sometimes unpredictable issue. For many years, judges decided on an amount based on a variety of factors listed in the statute, meaning decisions varied greatly depending on the facts of the case.

At The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C., we focus on divorce and family law exclusively and with excellence. We have closely followed changes to the law. When you choose our law firm, you can be confident knowing that you will work with a lawyer who understands the new guidelines and can help you pursue fair alimony payments.

New Tax Considerations Under Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, made changes to who bears the tax burden relating to alimony payments. These changes affect divorces finalized or settled beginning January 1, 2019.

In the past, the person receiving alimony payments was required to pay taxes on those payments, while the person making payments got a tax deduction. Now, the opposite is true. The higher income spouse is now required to pay taxes on the support payments they make to their ex. This relieves the tax burden formerly on the lower income spouse; however, it is possible this new law will affect the way spousal support settlements are structured going forward.

For help understanding how these changes will affect you, call The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C., in Oakbrook Terrace at 630-261-1222.

Calculation Of Spousal Maintenance

The Public Act 098-0961 changed sections 504 and 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which previously dictated how spousal maintenance was determined. Now, there are clear guidelines that dictate how spousal maintenance will be calculated.

The new guidelines affect divorcing spouses with combined yearly incomes of $250,000 or less. Certain factors must be met for alimony to be paid. For example, there must be a disparity in income or earning capacity between the divorcing spouses.

The guidelines dictate both the amount and the duration of alimony. Amount will be based on each party's income ("30 percent of the payor's gross income minus 20 percent of the payee's gross income," per the new law), with restrictions capping the amount. Duration will be based on the length of the marriage, with longer marriages resulting in longer alimony durations. Beyond that, the guidelines get complex, which is why it is important to have a skilled attorney on your side.

Learn More About Spousal Support Payments

We have more than 20 years of experience handling divorce. Call 630-DIVORCE or 630-261-1222, or email to schedule a consultation with DuPage County, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Lisle, Elmhurst, Naperville lawyer Debra Braselton.