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Naperville spousal maintenance attorneyThere is no guarantee that either spouse will receive spousal maintenance in an Illinois divorce. Though 40 or 50 years ago, spousal support or alimony was rather common in divorces, today it is more of an exception to the rule, rather than the rule itself. There are a few situations in which you might receive spousal maintenance. Your case might involve spousal maintenance if you and your spouse have a significant difference in income or if one of you sacrificed your career to stay home and raise the kids or take care of family responsibilities. Whatever the case, there is a formula used to determine the amount of maintenance to be paid in Illinois.

How to Calculate Spousal Maintenance

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifies the formula that is used to determine how much spousal maintenance is to be paid and how long those payments will last. The formula contained in the act applies to couples whose combined gross annual income is less than $500,000. Anything more than that, and the court can use its discretion to determine an appropriate amount of maintenance.

Currently, spousal maintenance is calculated by taking 33.3 percent of the payor’s net annual income and subtracting 25 percent of the payee’s net annual income. The result of that calculation is the annual amount of spousal maintenance that must be paid. To determine the monthly payment amount, the annual spousal maintenance amount is divided by 12. It is also important to note that the payee's net annual income and the amount of maintenance, when added together, cannot be higher than 40% of the couple's combined net annual income.

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Wheaton spousal maintenance attorneyFor many people, one of the biggest stressors in their marriages is money. Unfortunately, financial stress does not go away if you decide to get a divorce. Couples that are used to living off of two incomes can find it difficult to revert back to a single paycheck each month. After divorce, a two-income household becomes two households running off of two separate incomes. Some spouses may wonder how they are going to make ends meet when it is just their income paying for everything, especially if children are involved. In order to avoid leaving one spouse in financial distress, Illinois law may require some spouses to provide spousal maintenance payments (also known as alimony) to their former partner after finalizing their divorce.

Factors for Receiving Spousal Maintenance

Not every divorce case involves a spousal maintenance award. In fact, today’s divorce cases do not involve spousal support unless a serious need is established for this form of compensation. If one spouse requests maintenance, the court will look at a variety of factors to determine whether or not a maintenance award is appropriate. These factors include:

  • Each spouse’s income, taking into account marital property that has been allocated to each spouse and any financial obligations resulting from the divorce

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Naperville spousal support lawyerThough modern households often have two working parents, it is still not uncommon for one parent to stay home and take care of the children. Stay-at-home parents face a unique set of worries with it comes to divorce. If you are a stay-at-home parent, your spouse may have provided you with a sense of stability, but as that disappears, you are likely facing a great deal of uncertainty. Now, you may find yourself worrying about things you never thought you would have to worry about, like where you and your children will live and how you will be able to provide for your children.

Fortunately, there are ways you can address these issues when going through your divorce. Specific issues that other divorcing parents may not have to deal with, such as spousal maintenance, suddenly become extremely important to your divorce case. Even issues that most divorcing couples have to deal with, such as property division and child support, can be different when one spouse was a stay-at-home parent. Here are a few tips that may help stay-at-home parents better navigate divorce:

1. Gather All of Your Important Documents

Before you begin with the divorce, you need to make sure you have an accurate picture of your financial situation. For some stay-at-home parents, finances are dealt with by their spouse, and they might not even have direct access to the family’s financial information. Understanding your financial picture will ensure that you get everything you need and deserve out of your divorce. You will need to gather specific types of documents and provide copies to your attorney. You will want to make sure that you have located:

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