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An Overview of the Latest Changes to 2018 Illinois Spousal Maintenance Law. House Bill 2537 was passed on July 28, 2017 by the Illinois General Assembly proposing drastic changes to the way spousal maintenance is awarded in divorce cases. The new law is likely to go into effect in the beginning of 2018.

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Maintenance, otherwise known as Spousal Support or alimony, is money paid by one spouse as support to the other. The court will first weigh certain factors in deciding whether maintenance is appropriate. Some of those factors include the needs of the parties, the present and future earning capacity of each party, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage.

If the Court determines that maintenance is appropriate for either party, then the court will decide whether the statutory formula should be applied. If so, the court calculates the amount and duration of spousal support based on the statutory calculations. If not, the court will give specific reasons for why they did not feel the statutory formula should be applied.

Maintenance is calculated by taking thirty percent of the gross income of the spouse that earns the most, minus twenty percent of the gross income of the spouse that will receive maintenance. That number will be the amount paid, noting that the recipients income with maintenance shall not exceed forty percent of the parties combined earnings. Next, based on how long the parties have been married, the court will determine how long maintenance will last. For long term marriages (those that are twenty years or greater), this could last permanently.

Recently the State of Illinois has revised some key aspects of the law related to maintenance. In any marriage, even short ones, it is important that you speak to an attorney to determine your rights. The attorneys at Vaclavek Stassen, PC are experienced in fighting to represent their clients interests, and because they have represented both sides, know how to protect you. We will work with you to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations and will aggressively and zealously fight for you.

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