Callahan & Hockemeyer
Callahan & Hockemeyer
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Palatine Spousal Maintenance Attorneys

Whether you are seeking spousal support or defending against making payments, the family law attorneys at Callahan & Hockemeyer will help you achieve your goals.

Call Callahan & Hockemeyer to find out how we can help. 847-543-6910.

Helping You Understand Spousal Support in Illinois

Planning for your financial future after divorce can be overwhelming. As a married couple, you and your spouse likely became accustomed to a lifestyle that was based on your combined income. Now that you’ve separated and your divorce is pending, your way of life will need to accommodate the financial changes you face. In marriages where one spouse was the main breadwinner, the other spouse is often forced to make lifestyle changes that seem unfair. While spousal maintenance can be a remedy in some cases, it isn’t ordered in every Illinois divorce.

How the Court Determines Whether Spousal Maintenance Is Appropriate

To determine whether spousal support payments are appropriate, the courts consider a variety of factors.

  • All sources of income for each spouse
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s property (regardless of when it was acquired)
  • The age, health, and disabilities of each spouse
  • The ability to obtain the education or job skills necessary to reenter the workforce
  • Parental responsibilities

When the court makes a determination, it will also decide whether payments are temporary, indefinite, reviewable, or reserved.

Calculating Spousal Support in Illinois

If the court determines spousal maintenance to be appropriate, the combined gross annual income for both spouses is less than $500,000 annually, and there are no child support or maintenance obligations from a prior case, a standard maintenance formula will be used to determine the amount to be paid.

Effective January 1, 2019, Illinois uses the following method to determine spousal maintenance.

  • The payer’s net annual income is multiplied by 33 ⅓ % (0.333)
  • The payee’s net annual income is multiplied by 25%
  • The difference between the two determines the payment
  • The award must be less than 40% of the couple’s total combined net income.

Once a payment amount is determined, the courts will determine the duration of payments by multiplying the years of the marriage by the applicable percentage.

Duration of Marriage Percentage Multiplier Maintenance Term
Less than 5 years 20% 0.8 years or less
5 years but less than 6 24% 1.2 years
6 years but less than 7 28% 1.68 years
7 years but less than 8 32% 2.24 years
8 years but less than 9 36% 2.88 years
9 years but less than 10 40% 3.6 years
10 years but less than 11 44% 4.4 years
11 years but less than 12 48% 5.28 years
12 years but less than 13 52% 6.24 years
13 years but less than 14 56% 7.28 years
14 years but less than 15 60% 8.4 years
15 years but less than 16 64% 9.6 years
16 years but less than 17 68% 10.88 years
17 years but less than 18 72% 12.24 years
18 years but less than 19 76% 13.68 years
19 years but less than 20 80% 15.2 years
20 or more years At the Court’s discretion.


Spousal support payments are no longer tax deductible for the payor. However, maintenance payments are not included in the payee’s taxable income, either.

Spousal Maintenance Modifications

When a substantial change in circumstances occurs, the duration, and/or amount of spousal maintenance obligations can be modified even when indefinite support is ordered. For instance, if the recipient’s support needs decrease, or the payor becomes involuntarily unemployed, the payee remarries or passes away, payments can be modified or discontinued.

There are, however, ways to help ensure payments continue until death or remarriage occurs. Including specific language in the settlement agreement, requiring the payor to maintain life insurance, an alimony trust, or an annuity can help give maintenance recipients peace of mind.

We’re available 24/7
icon of Tracy Callahan
Tracy M. Callahan
Cell (773) 307-8593
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Robert W. Hockemeyer Jr.
Cell (815) 790-2520