The Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 2537, which will alter the way spousal maintenance payments work in Illinois. According to the existing law, which went into effect in 2015, several factors should be used in order to determine whether maintenance is appropriate.
In the event that maintenance is appropriate, the court will use statutory formulas to figure out how much maintenance will be awarded and the duration of the payments. Let us take a closer look at how the Illinois spousal maintenance law will change when it goes into effect in 2018.
Raised Income Threshold
When the combined income of a couple is less than $250,000, the current Illinois spousal maintenance law directs courts to determine maintenance amount and duration using statutory formulas. Once the new law goes into effect, the income threshold will change from $250,000 to $500,000. Therefore, the new law will apply statutory formulas to couples with higher incomes.
If the combined income of a couple is above $500,000, the court will not be required to follow statutory guidelines and may use other factors to determine maintenance amount and duration. Some of these factors include the present and future earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, tax consequences of the property division, and agreements between the spouses.
It is important to keep in mind that the court does have the right to stray away from the statutory guidelines if the couple’s income is below $500,000. However, if it does so, it must explain its reasoning by analyzing several factors.
How Duration Will Be Determined
Multiplying the number of years a couple has been married by a factor that increases as the length of the marriage increases will determine the duration of maintenance payments for both the existing maintenance law and the new one.
If a marriage lasted less than 5 years, 20 years or longer, or has a length that falls at the end of one of the current law’s 5-year increments, maintenance duration will remain the same. For all other marriage lengths, the maintenance duration will be shorter under the new law than under the existing law.
Contact Our DuPage County Spousal Maintenance Attorneys
If you’re wondering how the changes to the Illinois spousal maintenance law will affect your divorce, you should reach out to our DuPage County spousal maintenance attorneys today at 630-932-9100.
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