In this Learn About Law video we discuss the process that Illinois Courts use as a guideline to calculate spousal maintenance allocations.
In this article...

In this article, we explain how the duration of Illinois spousal maintenance is determined in 2019.

In this article, we explain how the duration of Illinois spousal maintenance is determined in 2019.

For a more general understanding of Spousal Maintenance laws in 2019, see our articles on how Spousal Maintenance laws change in 2019.

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Illinois?

First, let’s start with some foundational information about how spousal maintenance is calculated.  The first determination that domestic relations courts must make when determining spousal maintenance is whether spousal maintenance is appropriate at all.  Courts assess a number of factors when making this determination, which we discuss in our article, Illinois Spousal Maintenance Explained.

Next, courts determine whether to apply statutory guidelines to calculate the amount and duration of spousal maintenance payments.  Generally, courts apply statutory guidelines if the combined income of the parties is less than $500,000.00.  If the combined income is below this amount, the courts still have discretion to deviate from the guidelines, but must state their reasoning for doing so in the order awarding maintenance.  

To learn how courts calculate the amount of spousal maintenance payments in Illinois, check out our article, How to Calculate Illinois Spousal Maintenance.

What is the Timeline for Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?

If the court determines that spousal maintenance is appropriate and that it is also appropriate to apply the guidelines, then the duration of spousal maintenance is determined based on the length of the marriage.  The duration of spousal maintenance will be a percentage of the duration of the marriage.  The longer the marriage, the greater percentage of the marriage will be used to determine the duration of spousal maintenance.  

Below is the statutory table used in 2019, which sets forth these percentages based on the length of the marriage.  

  • If the marriage is less than 5 years, the spousal maintenance duration will equal 20% of the duration of the marriage.
  • If the marriage duration is 5 years or more but less than 6 years: 24%
  • 6-7 years: 28%
  • 7-8 years: 32%
  • 8-9 years: 36%
  • 9-10 years: 40%
  • 10-11 years: 44%
  • 11-12 years: 48%
  • 12-13 years: 52%
  • 13-14 years: 56%
  • 14-15 years: 60%
  • 15-16 years: 64%
  • 16-17 years: 68%
  • 17-18 years: 72%
  • 18-19 years: 76%
  • 19-20 years: 80%
  • 20 years or more: 100% of the duration of the marriage or for an indefinite term.  

The court order will state that the maintenance payments are to:

  • Continue for a fixed term and automatically terminate thereafter,
  • Continue for a fixed term at which point the court will review the situation and determine whether to extend the payments or terminate them; or
  • Continue indefinitely until modified or terminated.

November 16, 2020
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