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Yorkville Spousal Support: Spousal Support Frequently Asked Questions  

 Posted on March 09, 2023 in Divorce and Family Law

How is Spousal Support Calculated in Illinois

The divorce process can often be an emotionally draining, stressful, and trying time for all parties involved. One of the biggest concerns those going through a divorce have is how the divorce will impact their finances. This consists in paying spousal support (known as alimony or maintenance) to the ex-spouse.

What is Spousal Support?

Suppose a judge has determined that the circumstances of a divorce are appropriate to include spousal support. In that case, the judge will then order one ex-spouse to pay the other monthly payments, called spousal support, once the marriage has legally ended. In some instances, if there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the amount is determined through this agreement rather than by a judge.

What is the Purpose Behind Spousal Support?

A judge will typically order spousal support to be paid from one ex-spouse to the other to help the ex-spouse support themselves and live on their own following the divorce. Generally, people who are found to be able to work on their own are expected to find employment and support themselves. However, it is essential to note a judge is not required to order spousal support.

Who Can Receive Spousal Support?

Which party receives spousal support from the other solely depends on the circumstances of the two parties. The state of Illinois’ statute that governs this topic does not decide spousal support on the basis of gender. In other words, both spouses have the opportunity to receive spousal support.

Factors Included In The Determination

When it has been determined that spousal support is appropriate in a divorce case, there are then several different factors that go into the determination of what the amount should be. Typically, the most important and influential factor is the individual income of the parties. A judge will examine the discrepancies between spouses' incomes to determine if spousal support is appropriate. Other factors considered by the judge include property owned, needs of the parties, earning potential of the parties, how much time each party spends on household chores, the time and expenses (education, etc.) it would take the parties to get a job, the length of the marriage, both party's lifestyles during the wedding, the age of both parties, and both the physical and emotional conditions of both parties. Another important note is that the judge does not consider behavior during the marriage.

Illinois Calculations of Spousal Support

The current Illinois statutory guidelines state that spousal support is calculated by subtracting 25% of the recipient's net income from 33.3% of the obligor’s net income. There is a limit, however. Spousal support payments cannot exceed 40% of the spouse’s combined net income without specified consent from the court.

How Do I Calculate My Income?

The Income Withholding for Support Act and the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines “income” for spousal support calculations. This is how a typical analysis is done: net income is calculated by taking gross income and subtracting any of the following, if they are applicable:

(1) federal and state income tax,

(2) self-employment tax,

(3) Social Security,

(4) certain medical expenses,

(5) retirement contributions required by law or as a requirement of employment,

(6) the cost associated with the repayment of business debt,

(7) child support payments from the previous relationship,

(8) prior spousal support obligations.

How Long is a Party Obligated to Pay Spousal Support 

First, it should be noted that depending on the length of the divorce proceeding lasts, the spouse could potentially receive what is called "temporary maintenance." This is spousal support paid while the divorce proceedings are still going on before the marriage is legally ended.

Once the divorce is final, the length of time a party is required to pay spousal support depends on the length of the marriage, as required by Illinois statute. A calculation can then be done to give the approximate length of time one party will be paying the support. The calculations defined in the statute are as follows:

Length of Marriage - Years

Length of Spousal Support


Length of Marriage x .20


Length of Marriage x .24


Length of Marriage x .28


Length of Marriage x .32


Length of Marriage x .36


Length of Marriage x .40


Length of Marriage x .44


Length of Marriage x .48


Length of Marriage x .52


Length of Marriage x .56


Length of Marriage x .60


Length of Marriage x .64


Length of Marriage x .68


Length of Marriage x .72


Length of Marriage x .76


Length of Marriage x .80


Length of Marriage or Indefinite Term

Taxes and Spousal Support

Deductions and taxes on spousal support depended on when the divorce occurred. If the divorce was on or before December 31st, 2018, the party who is ordered to pay the spousal support could deduct these payments on their federal income taxes. Additionally, the party that is receiving the spousal support will be taxed on that money.

However, if the divorce occurred on or after January 1st, 2019, Only the party that has been ordered to pay the spousal support will be taxed on this money. The party receiving the spousal support is not taxed on that money.

Consult With A Experienced Kendall County Divorce Attorney

Whether you have concerns about if you will be required to pay spousal support and the amount you may be required to pay, or you want to inquire whether you may be entitled to receive spousal support, it is essential to have an experienced attorney behind you in this process that can help get the best results for you and your needs. Gateville Law Firm is a boutique, virtual law firm. We take pride in our commitment to service and responsiveness. Our team has over 18 years of experience and is ready to assist with your legal needs. Call us at 630-780-1034 to set up your initial consultation either over the phone, via zoom, or in person.



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