Resolve Disputes Over Alimony In Divorce

Spousal maintenance can be a difficult issue to resolve by negotiation. Many alimony issues are eventually decided by a judge, even when all other divorce issues have been resolved by agreement.

Are you deadlocked with your spouse over alimony? Do you suspect that a spouse's hidden assets should be investigated? Debra Braselton represents clients in DuPage County and Chicago suburbs involved in all aspects of divorce, including spousal maintenance/alimony issues.

At the Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C., we practice family law exclusively and with excellence. Debra Braselton will use her years of experience and legal skills to handle your uncontested divorce or your divorce litigation over complex asset division and executive compensation.

Debra Braselton is a collaborative divorce and divorce litigation lawyer who has handled many contested spousal maintenance cases in Illinois. She has mediated and negotiated alternatives to spousal maintenance in cases where assets were available to "buy out" an alimony obligation with a lump sum payment. Contact our law firm today to arrange your initial consultation.

Will Maintenance Be Paid/Received?

The first consideration is whether maintenance is necessary or appropriate. Many factors are considered in deciding whether maintenance is necessary, including the length of the marriage; age, health and income of each of the parties; the value of the property awarded to each spouse, etc. If maintenance is deemed appropriate, Illinois law requires the application of guidelines to calculate the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.

How Much Spousal Maintenance Will Be Paid?

Under Illinois guidelines, a maintenance award should equal 30 percent of the payer's gross income, minus 20 percent of the payee's gross income. When the recipient spouse's earned income and maintenance are added together, the total cannot exceed 40 percent of the couple's combined gross income. These guidelines apply to couples whose combined gross income is less than $500,000, where the payer has no previous obligation to pay child or spousal support from another relationship.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

The length of time a spouse will be required to pay maintenance depends on the length of the marriage, according to a formula that multiplies a couple's number of years married (at the time of the divorce) by a decimal number:

  • Fewer than five years (.20)
  • Five-six years (.24)
  • Six-seven years (.28)
  • Seven-eight years (.32)
  • Eight-nine years (.36)
  • Nine-10 years (.40)
  • 10-11 years (.44)
  • 11-12 years (.48)
  • 12-13 years (.52)
  • 13-14 years (.56)
  • 14-15 years (.60)
  • 15-16 years (.64)
  • 16-17 years (.68)
  • 17-18 years (.72)
  • 18-19 years (.76)
  • 19-20 years (.80)

For a marriage of 20 or more years, the court, in its discretion, shall order maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage or for an indefinite term.

Understanding The Different Types Of Spousal Maintenance

The three primary types of spousal maintenance in Illinois are:

Reviewable maintenance — Payments for a fixed period of time and reviewed after the fixed time period
Permanent maintenance — Payments that continue, without any set date for review. Maintenance will certainly end upon the death of the payer or payee, but can also be modified as to the amount or terminated upon a substantial change of circumstances, such as the retirement of the payer spouse.

Do you have questions about spousal maintenance in Illinois? Contact DuPage County, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Lisle, Elmhurst, Naperville alimony attorney Debra Braselton at 630-DIVORCE or 630-261-1222 or use our online contact form to set up an initial consultation. Please see our initial consultation page for further information. All contacts with our firm are kept strictly confidential.