Illinois Family Law: Duration of Spousal Maintenance in a Divorce

Rincker Law Family/Matrimonial Law Leave a Comment

Once it is established that a spouse will be granted maintenance, the next question is: for how long? There’s not much guess work when it comes to the duration of maintenance because it is calculated under 750 ILCS 504(b-1)(1)(B) by a formula.

The length of the marriage is multiplied by:

• 20% if the marriage was for 5 years or less
• 40% if the marriage was for more than 5 years but less than 10 years
• 60% if the marriage was for 10 years or more than 10 years but less than 15 years
• 80% if the marriage was for 15 years or more than 15 years but less than 20 years

If a marriage was for 20 years or more, it is in the court’s discretion to order permanent maintenance or maintenance for as many years as the marriage (i.e. 25 years married = 25 years spousal maintenance.

The reason that longer durations of maintenance are awarded to spouses with longer marriages is the theory that the longer the spouse has been married, the harder it may be to become less dependent on maintenance.


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