Maintenance, previously known as alimony or spousal support, “provides support for the ex-spouse that the former spouse would have provided” had the parties not gotten divorced. In re Marriage of Sappibgton, 478 N.E.2d 376 (Ill. Sup. Ct. 1985). In previous years, maintenance, which is paid from the higher-earning spouse to the dependent spouse, was calculated based on the parties’ gross income (i.e. before taxes are removed) and was tax deductible to the payor. The receiving spouse then was required to claim the received maintenance as income on their taxes at the end of the year.. Effective January 1, 2019, the maintenance calculations have changed, as have the tax liabilities associated with paying and receiving maintenance. Maintenance is now calculated based on the parties’ net incomes, after taxes have been removed. Because maintenance is now being calculated after the taxes have already been taken out, the payee no longer has to claim the maintenance as income on their taxes, as those funds will have already been included in the payor’s taxable income prior to having been paid out as maintenance. However, the parties may still agree to deviate from this standard in a Marital Settlement Agreement. A judge overseeing the case may also choose to deviate from both the old and new statutes to come to amore fair distribution of the parties incomes and assets.
Due to this new law, it is more important now than ever to protect yourself and your assets during your divorce case. Further, legal representation may prove to be critical during this time to achieve a desirable outcome that keeps your finances as an important priority throughout your divorce. It is critical to recognize the importance and value of diligent legal representation and the increased likelihood to have your needs met with the consultation of one.
Contact Kiswani Law, P.C. today to discuss your spousal support rights, whether you are receiving or paying spousal support, at (708) 210 -9247.