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Spousal maintenance may help financially dependent after divorce

Going through a divorce can deal a financial blow to a person in Illinois, especially if the individual has been financially dependent on his or her soon-to-be-ex. Fortunately, spousal maintenance may be awarded if one divorcing party has a monetary need and the ex has the ability to pay. Spousal maintenance can be either permanent or temporary depending on one's situation.

In 2015, the state of Illinois adopted a statue to make spousal maintenance awards more predictable. Under this new statute, a particular formula is used to determine how long a person must pay maintenance and how much he or she must pay in a case where the parties' total gross income is under $250,000. A total of 20 percent of the gross income of the payee is taken from 30 percent of the gross income of the payer; the payee is not able to get over 40 percent of their combined incomes.

In addition, how long the maintenance obligation will last is based on how long the marriage lasted. If two people have been married for 20-plus years, permanent maintenance can be established. Otherwise, the court may require the payer to make payments for a length of time equivalent to the marriage's length.

In order to achieve a personally favorable divorce settlement when dealing with issues such as asset division and spousal maintenance, it is critical for an individual to be knowledgeable about his or her rights. The payer may understandably be concerned about being forced to pay an unreasonable amount, while the payee may be concerned about not receiving a fair amount in alimony. Proper legal guidance in Illinois may help both individuals to fight for their best interests.

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