This is the next post in my series on the handling of Peoria, Illinois divorce cases. My last article discussed the importance of discovery when one is going through a divorce. Discovery is the process by which evidence is obtained in a lawsuit. If you fail to obtain such evidence then it is possible that you will be without needed information at trial. Retaining an attorney who is familiar with the discovery process can help you to ensure that all of the relevant facts are presented to a Judge. In this article I will discuss an issue which commonly causes tension during the end of a marriage – the awarding of alimony or spousal support. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Illinois is different from many states in that it spells out a clear formula for the award of spousal support. In many other states, the Court will look at a variety of factors and subjectively decide whether support should be awarded, the amount of any support, and the duration of any payments. This can lead to anger on the part of a spouse as one side is almost always certain to disagree with the Judge’s ruling. Our state, by contrast, will award alimony as follows when the parties have combined income of less than $250,000:
- The Court will first take thirty percent of the higher earning spouse’s income. This number will be reduced by twenty percent of the lower earning spouse’s income. This amount will be the alimony award as long as the award, plus the receiving spouse’s income, is less than forty percent of the parties’ combined income.
- The duration of the award shall be as follows:
- For twenty percent of the marriage’s length if the spouses were married for less than five years
- For forty percent of the marriage’s length if the spouses were married for 5-10 years
- For sixty percent of the marriage’s length if the spouses were married for 10-15 years
- For eighty percent of the marriage’s length if the spouse’s were married for 15-20 years
- Potentially for life if the spouse’s were married more than twenty years
The Court will not be bound by the foregoing formula if the parties have a combined income of over $250,000.
While this formula may seem straightforward, complications may arise. If a party is self-employed, for example, then disputes may arise as to the true amount of their income. Likewise, if a spouse is “underemployed,” then an argument can be made that their income should be considered to be an amount higher than what they are actually earning. How the Court will consider any given matter will always depend on the facts of the case.
If you are going through the end of a marriage, and are concerned about spousal support, then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria divorce lawyer. As a former prosecutor, I am devoted to providing the most aggressive representation possible. I also pride myself on providing a high level of service. Call today to speak with an attorney.
I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.