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In this article, we explain changes to Illinois spousal maintenance under the new federal tax law. Going into effect after December 31, 2018, the recently passed tax bill eliminates the tax deduction for alimony payments and makes the alimony income tax-free to the recipient. At first glance, this may seem not so bad. You may be thinking, “OK, so the person receiving the alimony, typically the one making less money, is going to get more money. That’s good right?” Unfortunately, like divorce, it’s not that simple
In this article, we will be discussing how to calculate net income to determine the amount of spousal maintenance in Illinois. For some foundational information, check out Illinois Spousal Maintenance Explained and Changes to Illinois Spousal Maintenance Law for 2018.
In this article we will explain the expected changes to Illinois spousal maintenance law for 2018. On July 28, 2017, the Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 2537, which, if signed by Governor Rauner, will change the way maintenance payments in divorce work in Illinois. HB 2537 proposes to modify Section 504 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/504), which deals with Illinois spousal maintenance payments, also known as alimony. This is expected to be signed into law and to go into effect in either January or July of 2018. For additional knowledge about how maintenance works in Illinois, you can check out our article, Illinois Spousal Maintenance Explained.
Prior to July 1, 2015, the amount and duration of spousal maintenance awards in Illinois divorces, also known as alimony or spousal support, were determined at the discretion of the court by the judge weighing several factors specifically listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/101, et seq.) (the "IMDMA"). However, in 2015, law was passed that changed this calculation.
According to the new law, the court will weigh these factors to determine whether maintenance is appropriate. However, if maintenance is appropriate, the court is now instructed to use specific formulas to determine both the amount and the duration of the award in most cases. In certain cases, courts are permitted to deviate from the statutory formulas, in which case the divorce court will use the statutory factors to determine the amount and duration of the maintenance award.