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How do Illinois courts determine spousal support?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Divorce |

When lovebirds marry, the expectation is that the relationship will last forever. Despite best intentions, a large number of marriages wither on the vine.

If yours is ending, the question of alimony looms large. You are likely wondering what factors Illinois courts use to decide payment amount. It helps to understand what variables they consider. Bear in mind that not all cases include spousal support.

Marriage status

Only those dissolving legally recognizable unions are eligible. The gender of the individual seeking alimony remains irrelevant. There may be a prenuptial agreement determining how much your spouse may receive. In case you were wondering, Illinois courts do not recognize requests for palimony.

Income size

Divorce judges begin by looking at how much income each spouse is receiving. In Illinois, courts take 33% of the salary of the individual paying alimony. From that amount, the court subtracts 25% of the net income of the salary of the alimony recipient. Also affecting this equation is the future earning power of each spouse. The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage is a critical consideration.

Marriage length

The duration of your union is another factor. Longer marriages generally result in lengthier alimony terms. Those lasting under five years usually do not impose alimony for more than a year. Marriages lasting 12 years can trigger support terms for up to six. A spouse for two decades or more might wind up providing lifetime compensation.

Getting a divorce can be financially draining, as well as emotionally painful. Awareness of how the divorce court system determines alimony should ease your mind.