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Kane County Spousal Support Lawyer

Kane County Spousal Support Maintenance Lawyers

Divorce Attorneys Explain Maintenance or Alimony in St. Charles and Geneva

When your marriage ends, you or your spouse may find it difficult to become financially self-sufficient again. This can be true for any number of reasons. One may have been out of the workforce for a long time-or working part-time-to have more time for home and family duties, for starting a business, or for health reasons. Maintenance payments, formerly known as spousal support or alimony, can ease the transition to your new lifestyle.

The divorce attorneys of Weiler & Lengle P.C. will take the time to listen compassionately to your immediate needs and goals for the future. Once we have a full understanding of your financial situation, we will aggressively negotiate for your divorce settlement to include the ideal combination of property division, maintenance, and child support.

We have successfully negotiated equitable settlements that smoothed the path from married to single life for men and women in a variety of different situations, including stay-at-home parents, business owners, and high-income professionals.

Illinois Law on Maintenance, aka Spousal Support

Spouses are free to develop their own agreement regarding division of property and maintenance payments. However, when the issue is disputed, one spouse may ask the court for an order of maintenance. The court's decision will be based on the guidelines set forth in Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/504, which requires answering these three questions:

1. Is any maintenance appropriate given the circumstances?

Maintenance is not a guaranteed right for any spouse under Illinois law. The court may refuse a request for maintenance if it determines that the requesting spouse has sufficient marital and non-marital property to be self-sufficient and there are no extenuating circumstances suggesting that maintenance is appropriate.

Maintenance may be appropriate in situations such as these:

  • A spouse has been out of the workforce for a long time and requires time and funds for retraining in order to re-enter the workforce and become self-supporting.
  • A spouse has foregone paid employment to be the primary caregiver for the children and wishes to continue in that role.
  • Maintenance payments are being used to offset an imbalance in the division of assets and debts.

2. What amount of maintenance is appropriate?

Illinois law provides the following guidelines for calculating spousal maintenance, but the court may use another calculation as long as it states its reasons.

  • The basic formula for annual maintenance is one-third of the payor's net income minus one-fourth of the recipient's net income. For example, if the payor's net income is $120,000 and the recipient's net income is $40,000, maintenance would be $30,000 ($40,000 minus $10,000).
  • The combination of the recipient's annual net income plus maintenance shall not exceed 40% of the couple's combined net income. Continuing the above example, the recipient's total income would be $70,000. 40% of the combined net income of $160,000 equals $64,000. Thus, annual maintenance would be reduced from $30,000 to $24,000.
  • The combined total of maintenance plus child support shall not exceed 50% of the payor's net income.

3. How long should maintenance payments continue?

The length of the marriage in years is multiplied by a statutory percentage factor to determine the duration of maintenance payments. For example, if a couple was married for less than 5 years, maintenance would continue for 1 year or less. For a marriage that lasted 5 to 10 years, the maximum duration of maintenance would be just over 4 years. For a marriage that lasted 20 or more years, maintenance could be ordered for an indefinite term or a term equal to the length of the marriage.

Premier Divorce Lawyers in St. Charles, Illinois

The attorneys of Weiler & Lengle P.C. are up-to-date on the latest divorce and tax laws related to maintenance payments. You can rely on us to provide sound and reliable advice regarding the best way to structure your divorce settlement to achieve your personal goals. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-382-8050. We serve clients in St. Charles, Geneva, and neighboring communities in Kane County.

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