The Overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act: Changes to Maintenance in 2016

Maintenance Pic blog

Laws and processes are continuously changing and evolving to keep up with time and society, and the year 2016 is no different. Specifically, revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“IMDMA”) regarding alimony, now known as maintenance, in divorce, legal separation and annulment  support cases have changed considerably. Prior to January 1, 2016, temporary support consisted of both spousal and child support. Temporary support is usually awarded during the pendency of a case and before a final judgment was made.

Spousal support, also known as “maintenance” and was formally termed as alimony by the Illinois Legislature.  Maintenance is granted in divorce, legal separation and  invalidity of marriage proceedings.. The law has set that a court will determine the length of  maintenance by looking at the date of marriage to the date of the filed petition for dissolution. The court will no longer calculate the pendency of the marriage until the date the judgment is entered for maintenance purposes.

Further, if the parties earn a combing gross income of less than $250,000.00 and the payor does not have an obligation to pay child support and/or maintenance from a previous relationship, maintenance will be calculated pursuant to the guidelines, which are as follows:

(a)  The amount of maintenance is calculated by taking 30% of the payor’s gross income minus 20% of the payee’s gross income. The difference is then added to the payee’s gross income which cannot exceed 40% of the combined gross income of the parties. If it does exceed 40% of the parties the combined gross income, the number will have to be adjusted so the maintenance does not exceed 40% of the parties combined gross income.

(b) The duration of maintenance is calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage , from the date of marriage to the date of the filed petition for dissolution, by (.20)  for marriages that are 5 years or less; (.40) for marriages that are more than 5 years but less than 10 years; (.60) for marriages that are 10 years but less than 15 years; or (.80) for marriages that are 15 years but less than 20 years; and for marriages that are more than 20 years a court has the discretion to order permanent maintenance or maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage.

If the gross income of the parties is more than $250,000.00 the court has the discretion to order  the amount and length of maintenance using the factors set in 750 ILCS 5/504. The factors include:

(1) The income and property of each party, including all financial obligation as a result of the divorce proceedings;

(2) The needs of each party;

(3) The realistic present and future earning capacity of each party;

(4) Any impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the payee due to that party’s delayed education; devoting time to domestic duties; delayed  training, employment or career opportunity due to the marriage;

(5) Any impairment on the realistic present or future earning capacity of the payor;

(6) The time the payee needs to acquire proper education, training and employment, and whether the payee is able to support themselves throughout this time or whether any parental responsibility arrangements will affect the payee’s employment;

(7) the standard of living established during the marriage;

(8) the duration of the marriage;

(9) the age, health, station, occupation , amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability , estate and liabilities of the parties;

(10) all sources of public and private income including disability and retirement income;

(11) Tax consequences of the property division;

(12) the contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential or license of the other spouse;

(13) any valid agreement of the parties ; and

(14) any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.


If maintenance is an issue in your case, call Kiswani Law, P.C. at 708-210-9247  to protect your rights and ensure maintenance is correctly determined.