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What are some important things to know about alimony in Illinois?

The alimony laws in Illinois underwent some changes in 2015 and 2016. It is important that you understand the laws if you are trying to get alimony in your divorce case. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, the spousal maintenance laws are rooted in ensuring affordability for the paying party.

To begin with, there is a formula that is used by the judge in your case to determine how much support you will receive. However, this formula is only used if you meet specific requirements. If you or your spouse has another family to support, meaning one of you were married before or pay child support or alimony to a former spouse, then this formula is not used. Also, the formula can only be used if your combined income is below $250,000.

The formula to calculate the amount of support to be paid starts with figuring out your and your spouse’s incomes. Then, 20 percent of your income, as the payee, is subtracted from 30 percent of your spouse’s income. This will give you the amount you will be awarded. It is important to note, though, that you cannot receive an amount that is over 40 percent of your combined gross income.

To figure the income that will be worked with, the court can consider pretty much all income, earned and unearned, including retirement and disability pay. The court also will factor in financial responsibilities, including those that will result from the divorce. Other factors such as age, health, employability and occupation will also be considered.

When it comes to spousal support and child support, these are now directly related. If you get spousal support, it will likely reduce the amount of child support you will receive. The court will figure the spousal support as a loss of income for your spouse, thus reducing the amount of income used to figure child support. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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