Illinois Alimony Calculator

Use the alimony calculator below to estimate your spousal maintenance in Illinois. In a divorce or separation, the court can grant alimony to the party seeking maintenance. To calculate monthly alimony payments, use this equation: (33.3% of the payer’s monthly net income) – (25% of the receiver’s monthly net income) = the amount paid per month.

A divorce tends to make an already murky future even harder to figure out.

Luckily, with the help of this calculator, alimony is one piece that’s easier to predict. This article also outlines how the calculator works and looks at whether or not alimony will be paid.

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Estimate Alimony Payments*

*Please remember these are estimates based on your inputs without considering the division of assets or debts. The purpose of this calculator is to give an idea of what spousal support payments may look like depending on the circumstances of your case.
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How To Calculate Alimony in Illinois

Illinois state statutes clearly outline how to calculate alimony. The equation is found in the maintenance section because Illinois calls alimony maintenance. The equation is based on each party's net income and the length of the marriage.

The divorcing parties also have the option to choose their own alimony payments outside of the courtroom. The court must approve it, but it generally goes through if both spouses agree.

Guideline Method

The calculator above, like most cases, uses the guideline method to calculate alimony. Under these guidelines, there is a standard equation used to calculate alimony:

(33.3% of payer’s monthly net income) – (25% of receiver’s monthly net income) = Amount paid per month.[1]

The resulting alimony payments cannot be more than 40% of the party’s combined net income. This method also outlines the duration of alimony which is standardized based on the length of the marriage.

Non-Guideline Method

When using the non-guideline method, the court decides how to calculate alimony. The courts usually break from the guidelines when the parties make more than $500,000 per year or when one spouse already pays child support or maintenance from a previous case.[2]

If the court chooses this method, they must state how much maintenance would have been under the guidelines. They also must outline why they decided to deviate from those guidelines.

Call (312) 757-8082 now to get Immediate help with your divorce and alimony questions.

Illinois Spousal Maintenance Calculation Examples

Using the equation listed in the guideline method, here are some example alimony calculations:

Payer’s Monthly Income Receiver’s Monthly Income Estimated Monthly Maintenance Award
$3,000 $1,000 $600
$4,000 $1,000 $1,000
$5,000 $1,000 $1,300
$6,000 $1,000 $1,600
$7,000 $1,000 $1,900
$8,000 $1,000 $2,200

Factors in Awarding Maintenance

Before calculating alimony, the court first decides whether either party will receive alimony. To do this, they consider the following factors:

  1. Each party’s needs
  2. The duration of the marriage
  3. Each party’s income, assets, and debts
  4. The standard of living established during the marriage
  5. The receiving party’s current and future earning capacity
  6. Any constraints on the receiving party’s earning capacity due to delayed education, training, or employment because of the marriage and domestic duties.
  7. Any constraints on the paying party’s earning capacity
  8. The time necessary for the receiving party to get education, training, and employment
  9. The effect of any child custody and placement arrangements on a party’s ability to maintain employment
  10. Each party’s age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, and liabilities
  11. The receiving party’s contributions to the paying party during their education, training, career, or license
  12. All sources of public and private income such as disability and retirement income
  13. The tax consequences to each party
  14. Any valid agreement of the parties
  15. Any other factors that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable[3]

With so many factors, it can be difficult to know whether or not the court will award alimony in your case. For an in-depth analysis of your situation, contact Sterling Hughes and speak with an attorney.

The Purpose of Maintenance

Maintenance assists the lower-earning spouse as they transition out of the marriage. This gives them time to get the education and/or training they need to support themselves. In some cases, alimony is paid simply to support the other spouse.

Length and Duration of Alimony

The duration of alimony depends on the length of the marriage. For example, alimony in a marriage of under 5 years lasts for 20% of the marriage’s length. The duration of the alimony increases by 4% for each year after the 5th, capping out at 20 years.

The Spousal Maintenance Laws 2019 Update

In 2019, lawmakers updated the equation used to calculate maintenance. Before 2019, the court used this equation: (30% of payer’s gross annual income) – (20% of receiver’s gross annual income) = amount paid per year. Cases from before 2019 are still able to calculate alimony using this equation.[4]

Considerations

Calculating Income for Non-W2 Employees

It can be harder to calculate a party’s income when they are not a traditional W2 earner. Examples of non-W2 are 1099 employees or people who make a significant portion of their income through commission. No matter the reason, alimony needs to be fair.

One way to solve this issue is to calculate the person’s annual average income. Their income may vary drastically month-to-month, but it should balance out over a year or years.

Types of Illinois Spousal Maintenance

There are different types of maintenance for different situations. Temporary maintenance is used during the divorce process. Alimony after the divorce is either fixed-term or indefinite.

Fixed-term can also be rehabilitative or reviewable. Rehabilitative means it supports a spouse while they gain earning power. Reviewable means when runs out, the court checks to see if the party still needs maintenance.[5]

Modify Spousal Maintenance

The court will only modify maintenance after a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. A substantial change could be a change in employment status, an impairment of earning capacity, or any other factor the court finds just and equitable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you calculate alimony in the state of Illinois?

Illinois laws outline how to calculate alimony. To find the amount paid per month, you take 33.3% of the paying party’s monthly net income and subtract 25% of the other party’s monthly net income. But, the number cannot be more than 40% of both party’s combined net income.

How can I avoid paying alimony in Illinois?

If the court awards alimony to a party, it cannot be avoided. However, if you do not want to pay alimony over time, you can pay in assets or a lump sum. For example, one party could keep the marital home in exchange for not getting any alimony.

How long is alimony paid in Illinois?

The duration of alimony depends on the length of the marriage. It is paid for a percent of the time that the parties were married. Alimony lasts 20% of the marriage length for marriages 5 years and under, then you add 4% for each year thereafter.

How do you negotiate alimony?

Alimony is either ordered by the court or the two parties come to an agreement. You can negotiate alimony alongside property division or separately. An effective way to negotiate is to listen to the other side, get a sense of their needs, and balance them with your own needs.

Is alimony mandatory in Illinois?

Alimony is not mandatory in Illinois. Alimony is only awarded to a party when it makes sense in the specific case and there is a need.

Who is entitled to alimony?

No one is entitled to alimony. Rather, the court reviews the list of factors above and determines whether it is fair for a party to receive alimony.

Is alimony based on gross or net income?

Alimony calculations are now based on net income. Lawmakers changed the laws in 2019 to move from gross to net income. If alimony was awarded before the change, parties can continue to use gross income.

How many years do you have to be married to get alimony in Illinois?

There is no marriage length that makes someone eligible for alimony. But, the length of the marriage does affect the duration alimony is paid for. The longer the marriage the longer a party pays alimony.


References: 1. 750 ILCS § 5/504 (b)(1)(A). Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. | 2. 750 ILCS § 5/504 (b)(1). | 3. 750 ILCS § 5/504 (a)(1-14). | 4. 750 ILCS 5/504 (b)(1)(A-1). | 5. 750 ILCS 5/504 (b-4.5)(1-3).


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