How long does Spousal Support last under the revised maintenance law in Illinois divorces?

Effective January 1, 2015, Illinois revamped the laws on spousal support in divorce cases.  One of the major changes is that there is now a formula as to how long maintenance gets paid.  In the past, the duration of alimony (as the IRS calls it) was very random.  Under the new guidelines, the duration of maintenance is calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage by the factor indicated below.

Marriages lasting:

• 0 to 5 years, the multiple is .20;
• 5 to 10 years, the multiple is .40;
• 10 to 15 years, the multiple is .60;
• 15 to 20 years, the multiple is .80; and
• 20 or more years, the court has the discretion to either make the duration equal to the length of the marriage or to make maintenance permanent.

Keep in mind, that it first has to be determined that a maintenance award is appropriate, as spousal support is not automatic the way that child support is.  You may also be interested in my article about how the dollar amount of spousal support is calculated.


Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation