What you need to know about alimony calculation
The calculation of alimony in the Alton, IL area doesn’t always use a strict formula. While the Illinois legislature has recently adopted guidelines for calculating spousal support maintenance, no court is required to follow those guidelines. However, judges who specialize in divorce law typically rely on similar factors, which are indeed specified in Illinois law. These factors include:
- Each spouse’s income and assets
- Each spouse’s earning capacity, minus any reduction due to the marriage or caring
- or children
- The ability of the spouse seeking alimony to become self-supporting, and the length of time needed for this to occur
- The length of the marriage
- The financial needs of each spouse
- The couple’s standard of living while married
- Tax consequences resulting from the division of property
Judges can consider any other factor they consider relevant, but they cannot consider whose “fault” the divorce was in their spousal support calculations. While judges don’t need to use the maintenance guidelines, here’s what they look like. Start with both spouses’ incomes. Calculate 30 percent of the income of the spouse expected to pay alimony, and 20 percent of the other spouse’s income. Subtract the second spouse’s income from the first. That’s the tentative maintenance award. There are some other calculations involved. The recipient’s income (after the alimony is included) can’t add up to more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income. If it does, the alimony amount is typically lowered to that 40 percent mark.
Alimony is typically paid in monthly installments, with the judge determining how long it has to be paid. If you want to change the amount of spousal support due to a change in your circumstances, you can go to court and ask for a change. Your obligation to pay alimony also ends if the ex-spouse that you’re supporting remarries or lives with someone else in an intimate relationship. At Levo-Donohoo LLC Attorneys at Law, we’re prepared to help you with your alimony issues and any other aspects of family law, including paternity disputes, child custody issues, and domestic partnership agreements. Contact us if you feel your alimony isn’t being calculated fairly, or if you’re approaching a divorce and want to make sure you’re properly represented.