Spousal Support Lawyer Chicago
What is spousal support/alimony?
Spousal support/alimony is referred to as “maintenance” in Illinois pursuant to the statute. In determining whether a spouse is a candidate for maintenance, the court shall consider the following factors:
- The income and property of each party, including marital property apportioned and non-marital property assigned to the party seeking maintenance, as well as all financial obligations imposed on the parties as a result of the dissolution of marriage;
- The needs of each party;
- The realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;
- Any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities due to the marriage;
- Any impairment of the realistic present or future earning capacity of the party against whom maintenance is sought;
- The time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or any parental responsibility arrangements and its effect on the party seeking employment;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and the needs of each of the parties;
- All sources of public and private income including, without limitation, disability and retirement income;
- The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties;
- Contribution and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse;
- Any valid agreement of the parties; and
- Any other factor that the Court expressly finds to be just and equitable.
Why would a Chicago spousal support attorney be needed to help determine alimony?
First, it needs to be determined if a party is even a recipient of maintenance (alimony). Second, it would need to be determined whether or not the case falls within the “guidelines” and whether the guideline formula should be applied as to amount and duration. Next, if the guidelines do not apply, it needs to be determined what an appropriate amount and duration of a maintenance award would be. In addition, there are different types of maintenance – non-modifiable, reviewable, permanent, for example – and they are different benefits and issues with each type of award. Accordingly, a Chicago spousal support attorney would be highly valuable in providing guidance and recommendations in determining an appropriate maintenance award – whether a party is paying or receiving maintenance.
Most importantly, maintenance payments have historically been deductible to the payor and includable to the payee. With the changes to the Internal Revenue Code that were enacted by the federal government in 2017 and effective with Judgments of Dissolution of Marriages being entered in 2019 and beyond, maintenance is no longer deductible to the payor or includable to the payee. However, the Illinois legislature has not yet adjusted the maintenance guidelines that were enacted under the presumption that maintenance was deductible to the payor and includable to the payee. Accordingly, beginning in 2019, having a Chicago spousal support attorney’s guidance regarding maintenance calculations will be more essential than ever.
How is spousal support determined in Illinois?
Effective in 2015, Illinois implemented maintenance “guidelines”. First, it must be determined whether a spouse is a maintenance “candidate” (whether the spouse is entitled to maintenance. Second, it needs to be determined if the “guidelines” apply to the case at hand. Next, a determination as to the amount and duration of maintenance is calculated based on the specific facts of each case.
How long will someone receive spousal support?
Included in the maintenance “guideline” statute are guidelines regarding the length of maintenance. Term is based upon the length of the marriage. However, the guidelines are only applicable to cases where the parties combined gross income is less than $500,000 per year. In addition, there may be reasons for the court to deviate from the guidelines even if the case may otherwise fall under the guidelines.
If either party gets remarried, does this affect the terms of alimony?
Yes, pursuant to the statute, if the party receiving maintenance gets remarried (or cohabitates), maintenance terminates.
If a person is receiving child support from one ex-spouse, does it affect whether they can receive alimony from another ex-spouse?
No. However, it will be required to be disclosed as part of the divorce proceedings and the Court may take that into account when determining a maintenance award to that spouse, with the understanding that the child support is support for another child not of the marriage.
Can you give an example of someone you helped with an alimony matter?
We represented a former spouse who was seeking to review her maintenance. After trial, her maintenance was extended for additional time (subject to a further review) and the monthly amount was increased.
Further, we represent clients on a daily basis whose cases involve setting initial maintenance awards, both on behalf of the recipients and payors of maintenance.
Why should someone choose your Chicago spousal support attorney to help them with their alimony case?
Chicago spousal support attorney at Katz & Stefani has significant experience in handling all types of alimony (maintenance) cases. Specifically, Katz & Stefani frequently represents payors and recipients of maintenance in pre-decree cases. We also frequently represent parties in modification and appeals of the same. Further, the Chicago spousal support law firm often represents parties in cases that are “above guidelines” (i.e. combined gross income in excess of $500,000 per year).