At Split Simple, our uncontested divorce process is designed to help divorcing couples work their way through difficult, contentious issues. One of the most difficult and most contentious is alimony.
Also known as "spousal support" or "spousal maintenance," alimony is often a source of friction in a divorce. Determining the proper alimony amount, time period and structure requires an experienced understanding of the relevant laws, as well as the ability to work with both parties to find a solution amidst the emotions of the moment.
Split Simple's attorney-mediators are equipped to do just that. We have a firm grasp of Illinois' alimony laws and the mathematical formulae that define it. We can help you reach an equitable solution that will win a judge's approval.
If you're looking for an attorney-mediator in the Chicago, Illinois area who can help resolve disputes involving alimony and other complex issues, please call Split Simple today at 855-665-9920.
What Does Illinois Law Say?
For many years, Illinois judges had a great deal of discretion in setting alimony. There were guidelines to follow and factors to consider, but judges were granted significant autonomy in deciding whether to award alimony and how much to award. There were advantages to this system, but it could lead to frustrating inconsistency and unpredictability.
That changed on January 1, 2015, when amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, went into effect. These amendments, which now define the shape of alimony in the state, set precise mathematical standards for spousal maintenance.
Here's how it works. Consider a hypothetical Chicago couple, Mike and Jane, who have decided to get divorced. Mike has an annual gross income of $100,000, while Jane has an annual gross income of $50,000. The two have been married for nine years.
Because the combined income is under $250,000, strict guidelines come into play.
The guidelines begin by taking 30-percent of the contributing spouse's income- for this case, we'll assume Mike is the contributing spouse. That's $30,000. Next, you subtract 20-percent of the receiving spouse's income. In this case, that's $15,000.
When you subtract $15,000 from $30,000, you obviously get $15,000. In our hypothetical, Mike would pay Jane $15,000 a year in spousal support.
How long will this last? Illinois law has a mathematical answer for that, too. The state uses a "multiple" based on the length of the marriage. The guidelines are as such:
- 0 to 5 years: .20
- 5 to 10 years: .40
- 10 to 15 years: .60
- 15 to 20 years: .80
(For a marriage that has lasted longer than 20 years, judges have discretion to make alimony either permanent or equal to the length of the marriage)
Remember that in our example, Mike and Jane have been married for nine years. Using the system above, Mike will pay Jane $15,000 a year for 3.6 years.
These are the guidelines our attorney-mediator will work with when considering the issue of alimony during your negotiations. Remember, your divorce settlement isn't final until it wins the approval of a judge, so it's important that your agreement follows the relevant guidelines as closely as possible.
At Split Simple, we have an impeccable track record of winning such approval for our settlements. In fact, we offer a guarantee that your settlement will be approved, or we will make the relevant changes at no additional charge.
If you want a simple, transparent divorce mediation process in the Chicago, Illinois area, please call Split Simple today at 855-665-9920.