Maintenance, also know as alimony or spousal support, is the financial support paid from one spouse to the other spouse following a divorce.  The purpose of maintenance to enable a spouse who is not capable of supporting him or her self to continue to have the lifestyle to which he or she became accustomed during the marriage.  The Illinois maintenance statute requires the Court to consider a number of different factors to determine if an award of maintenance is appropriate.  If the Court deems that maintenance is warranted, the next step is calculating the amount and duration of maintenance.

In January of 2016, the Illinois legislature enacted a statute which provides a formula for calculating the amount and duration of maintenance.  In cases where the parties’ combined gross income is less than $500,000.00, the Illinois Maintenance Statute provides a formula to determine the amount and duration of maintenance.  However, under certain circumstances, a Judge may deviate from the statutory formula.  In cases with a combined gross income of $500,000.00 or more, the Court has broad discretion in determining the amount and duration of maintenance.  Following an award of maintenance, a number of different factors can impact the amount and duration of maintenance, including loss of employment, changes in either party’s income, remarriage, cohabitation or death.

Our spousal support attorneys are extremely well versed in maintenance related issues.  We will thoroughly analyze lifestyle, income, cash flow and tax consequences to achieve an optimal result for our clients which protects their financial future.

Under Illinois law, maintenance payments are deductible by the payor and taxable to the payee for income tax purposes.  However, due to the recently enacted federal tax reform, this will no longer be permitted commencing January 1, 2019.  As a result of the change in the law, the Illinois Maintenance Statute will need to be amended and efforts are underway to draft new legislation which complies with the new federal tax law regarding maintenance.  The divorce attorneys at Strategic Divorce will update our clients regarding these ongoing changes in the Illinois Maintenance Statute and will work with them to achieve creative solutions which serve their best interests.

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