Can I Modify Spousal Maintenance?
There are many different reasons that an ex-spouse could seek a modification of spousal maintenance (also described as alimony or spousal support). In a divorce case in DuPage County, the court might award spousal support to one of the parties based on certain factors from the marriage, and that spouse’s ability to earn a living without obtaining additional education or training. In short, an Illinois court may determine that spousal maintenance is appropriate, and then it will award a specific amount of alimony. In most cases, the amount and the duration of alimony is based on a formula, so it is streamlined. Yet that formula considers both spouses’ incomes when determining the amount of the award.
Accordingly, if one of the spouse’s incomes changes significantly, it could be a reason to ask the court to modify the support payments. We want to provide you with more information generally, but if you have specific questions about your particular circumstances, you should seek advice from an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer.
Calculating Spousal Support in Illinois
Illinois law now says that, for most couples getting divorced where alimony is appropriate, courts should use a formula for calculating the amount of spousal support. That formula says the court should take 33.3 percent of the paying spouse’s net income and subtract 25 percent of the receiving spouse’s net income. The remaining amount is the spousal support amount. For most couples that collectively earn less than $500,000, the court will apply this formula.
What happens if one of those spouses begins earning significantly more money, or if one of those spouses loses his or her job and is bringing home substantially less income? The party seeking a modification might be able to petition the court to modify the spousal maintenance order.
How to Modify Spousal Maintenance in DuPage County
If you want to modify spousal maintenance, you will need to petition the court for the modification, and you will need to be able to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. What amounts to a substantial or significant change in circumstances? Typically, if the paying party loses his or her job, or is forced to take a significant pay cut, the court could modify the order. Or, for example, if the paying party discovers that the receiving spouse has been offered and accepted a new job that results in a substantial pay raise, that spouse could successfully petition the court for a modification to reduce the amount of spousal maintenance.
However, it is critical to keep in mind that a reduction in income cannot be the result of the paying party’s attempt to reduce what she or he owes to the other spouse. To be sure, if the paying spouse intentionally quits his or her job, or takes a lower-paying position, in order to pay less in alimony, then the court can impute income.
Seek Advice from a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer About Modifications
If you have questions about modifying an existing spousal support order, you should seek advice from one of our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys as soon as you can. Our firm is committed to representing members of the Muslim Community, and we can talk with you today about the particular facts of your case. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office online or call us at 630-909-9114 to learn more about how we can assist you.