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Wheaton, IL Alimony and Maintenance Attorneys

Naperville, IL Alimoney and Maintenance Lawyer

Spousal Maintenance Lawyers in DuPage County

An Illinois divorce judge must equitably divide marital property so that the proceeding is not an unfair financial burden on either spouse. Spousal maintenance is an important part of this equation. In cases where one party needs financial support from the other in order to meet their needs following their divorce, maintenance may be requested. A judge will evaluate a number of factors to determine whether spousal support will be appropriate, and specific formulas may be used to determine the amount and duration of support payments.

The experienced attorneys at Jenz Law Office can help reduce or eliminate the negative financial consequences of a divorce or other family law proceeding. Attorney Judith Jenz routinely handles many cases in this area, regardless of the dollar amount involved. Our goal is a fair divorce settlement that upholds your legal and financial interests, and we are not satisfied with anything less than the best possible result.

Initial Questions

Maintenance is not automatic, and the party requesting support must first convince the judge that it is necessary. In making this decision, the judge may consider many factors, including:

  • Financial means and needs of each spouse;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Standard of living during the relationship;
  • Any agreement between the parties; and
  • Non-economic contributions to the marriage.

Additionally, the judge may consider "any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable." The court entertains evidence and arguments from both parties during this phase.

The Formula

If the parties' combined gross income is under $500,000 the amount of maintenance is 33.33 percent of the obligor's net income minus 25 percent of the obligee's net income. The duration is a multiple based on the length of the marriage.

Assume that a couple is divorcing after a 12-year marriage. The husband works part-time and earns $20,000 per year, and the wife works full-time and earns $60,000 per year. In this scenario, the husband would be entitled to $15,000 ($20,000 minus $5,000) per year for 6.24 years (12 multiplied by .52). However, the amount of maintenance a person receives plus the income they earn cannot be higher than 40 percent of the couple's combined income. In this case, 40 percent of the couple's combined income is $32,000 ($80,000 multiplied by .4), so the husband may only receive maintenance payments of $12,000 ($32,000 minus $20,000) per year. Typically, a judge orders this sum to be paid in monthly installments. Sometimes, the obligor pays the court, which then disburses funds to the obligee, but typically, the obligor pays the obligee directly.

Alteration and Termination

Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that may cause a judge to reduce or increase either the amount or duration of spousal support. In these cases, the court will use the same analysis to set the financial terms as it used when considering whether or not maintenance was appropriate. This deviation must be supported by an affirmative finding based on the available evidence.

Support payments terminate if the obligee remarries or cohabitates with another person. The obligor's death also terminates payments; to lessen the financial blow to the obligee, the court may order maintenance payments to be secured by a life insurance policy. Either party may later request a modification based on changed circumstances.

Contact Our Wheaton Spousal Support Lawyer

Spousal maintenance is an important part of a divorce property settlement. For a confidential consultation in these matters, contact Jenz Law Office at 630-202-8842. After hours and weekend appointments are available.

Jenz Law Office

2150 Manchester Road, Suite 110-D
Wheaton, IL 60187

Call Today630-202-8842

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