Arlington Heights Spousal Support Attorney
Advocating on Your Behalf and Looking After Your Interests
Before your divorce can be finalized, the issue of spousal support – also known as maintenance or alimony – must be considered. You and your spouse may reach a reasonable agreement on your own, or Court will be required to determine if an award for spousal support is appropriate. In the event that the decision is left to the Court, it must also establish how much is to be paid and for how long payments are to continue. Whether you are seeking spousal maintenance or your soon-to-be ex-spouse is seeking support from you, Attorney Nicholas W. Richardson is prepared to advocate on your behalf. He can help you understand the legal issues involved, as well as the potential tax implications of any maintenance award.
Palatine Alimony Attorney
In the absence of a valid agreement between you and your spouse, the Court must consider the circumstances of your marriage and divorce in deciding whether to award spousal support to one party. The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., can assist you throughout the process and will work with you in presenting your case to the Court. According to Illinois law, the Court must take into account a number of contributing factors including, but not limited to:
- Length of the marriage;
- Lifestyle and standard of living created by the marriage;
- Age, occupation and earning capacity of each spouse;
- Contributions of the party seeking maintenance to the earning capacity of the other party;
- Likelihood and time need for the party seeking maintenance to become financially independent;
- Marital property allocated to each party; and
- How arrangements for the parties’ children may affect the ability of each spouse to earn income.
Amount and Duration of Spousal Support Awards
If the Court finds spousal maintenance to be appropriate, the next step is to determine how much is to be paid and for how long. For most couples with a combined gross income of less than $250,000, the law provides a formula for calculating both the amount and duration of a support award. The amount of the award is to be found by taking 30 percent of the payor’s gross income minus 20 percent of the receiving party’s gross income. The resulting amount plus the payee’s income may not exceed 40 percent of the couple’s combined income.
The duration of the award is determined using a sliding scale based upon the length of the marriage. The length of the marriage is to be multiplied by a factor of:
- .20 for a marriage of 0-5 years;
- .40 for a marriage of more than 5 years but less than 10 years;
- .60 for a marriage of 10 years or more but less than 15 years; and
- .80 for a marriage of 15 years or more but less than 20 years
Permanent maintenance may be awarded for a marriage of 20 years or more, but the award should be at least equal to the length of the marriage.
Deviations and Other Considerations
In certain situations, the Court may award an amount different than that prescribed by the formula in the law. Similarly, the Court is granted full discretion over situations in which the couple’s combined income exceeds $250,000. The law requires the Court in such cases to justify its decisions based on specific findings, including references to the particular, relevant factors.
For more information, contact the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richarson, P.C. Call 847.873.6741 to schedule your free initial consultation and get the answers you need to whatever questions you may have. The firm is proud to serve Palatine, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg and all of the surrounding areas.