Yet more changes are coming to computing maintenance, formerly known as alimony, in Illinois.

Public Act 100-0520, effective June 1, 2018, amends the existing maintenance portions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.  Currently, the maintenance “formula” applies to cases where the parties’ combined gross annual incomes do not exceed $250,000.  The new law raises that ceiling to $500,000 (which coincides with the child support statute calculator).  The new law also sets forth a clear explanation for the duration of a maintenance award.  The new awards will be based on the following computation:  The duration of a maintenance award shall be calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage at the time the action was commenced by whichever of the following factors applies: less than 5 years (.20); 5 years or more but less than 6 years (.24); 6 years or more but less than 7 years (.28); 7 years or more but less than 8 years (.32); 8 years or more but less than 9 years (.36); 9 years or more but less than 10 years (.40); 10 years or more but less than 11 years (.44); 11 years or more but less than 12 years (.48); 12 years or more but less than 13 years (.52); 13 years or more but less than 14 years (.56); 14 years or more but less than 15 years (.60); 15 years or more but less than 16 years (.64); 16 years or more but less than 17 years (.68); 17 years or more but less than 18 years (.72); 18 years or more but less than 19 years (.76); 19 years or more but less than 20 years (.80).  The new law further provides that for a marriage of 20 or more years, the court, in its discretion, shall order maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage or for an indefinite term .  This replaces the current law, which grants the Judge only the options of permanent maintenance or maintenance for a period equal to the length of the marriage, when the marriage has lasted 20 years or more.  Finally, the new law gives the court the right to attribute to the payor’s maintenance obligation any temporary maintenance paid prior to entry of a Judgment for Dissolution.

The new bill clarifies some outstanding issues which have recurred under the current maintenance law.