Benefits of spousal support reform

Spousal support, which is called spousal maintenance in Illinois, is a common order that may have been made in your divorce case. It is usually decided by a judge because it is rarely easy to come to an agreement through negotiations, based on our experience at Butler, Giraudo & Meister. You should be aware that the spousal maintenance laws in the state were revised in 2016, which introduced some changes to how support is decided.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the changes in the alimony laws were designed to help you if you have a moderate income level. One major change in the laws was to create consistent formulas for figuring maintenance payments. The length of time you will need to pay support is directly related to the length of time you were married. In addition, who pays the support is completely based on income earned. Whoever makes more will pay alimony. The amount is figured by taking 30 percent of your income as the payer and subtracting 20 percent of your spouse’s income.

The benefits of these changes are that the system is more uniform. Before, everything was up to the discretion of the judge. Now it follows formulas, which makes awarding maintenance easier. In addition, for those with moderate incomes, spousal support and child support are awarded together to ensure you are not going to be paying too much where it leaves you with financial problems. These laws help to create a balance that ensures you and your ex-spouse can maintain your new households comfortably.

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