Arin R. Fife Answers:
Spousal support, often known as alimony is called maintenance in Illinois. Guidelines were recently put into place in Illinois with the hope that it will create some consistency in the maintenance awards, both in amount and duration. There is a formula which applies to households with a combined gross income of less than $250,000. However, we are seeing many judges use and apply the formula even in households where the gross income exceeds this amount.
The longer the marriage, the longer the maintenance award. In marriages which have lasted less than 10 years, maintenance can terminate on a specified date. In marriages lasting over 10 years, there will likely be some period of review. These guidelines have brought about a new reality to maintenance awards in Illinois.