Candace Meyers’ Answer
Yes. When the Illinois Courts determine whether an award of maintenance is appropriate, factors to be considered are the NEEDS OF THE PARTY SEEKING MAINTENANCE and the other spouse’s ABILITY TO PAY MAINTENANCE. The lifestyle the parties maintained during the marriage is a factor considered by the court. It is relevant because the Court is required to consider a party’s “real income”. Of course, if a party is running a closely held corporation, it is not unreasonable for an entrepreneur to take the most tax advantages available by running a variety of expenses through the business. An experienced lawyer will know how to present what is or is not a justified expense. An experienced attorney will know what experts to rely on in order to present a full picture of all income being taken from the company, and will help the court to understand that there is more income than what is shown on the tax return.