Maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is money paid by one spouse to the other on a temporary, permanent or reviewable basis. A spouse may have a right to receive money from the other spouse to start the process of becoming financially independent. The maintenance statutecontained in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires the Judge to first weigh fourteen factors to determine whether maintenance is appropriate. If maintenance is appropriate, the statute contains guidelines for the amount and duration of maintenance in instances where the parties’ combined gross income is less than $250,000. Where the guidelines apply, the amount of maintenance is calculated by taking thirty percent of the payor’s gross income and subtracting twenty percent of the recipient’s gross income; however, the maintenance has a cap such that after receiving maintenance, the recipient of maintenance cannot have more than forty percent of the combined gross income. Where the guidelines apply, the duration of marriage is based upon the duration of marriage, which is calculated as the amount of time from the date of marriage until the date that a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed. For marriages lasting five years or less, maintenance is paid for twenty percent of the duration of marriage. For marriages lasting more than five years, but less than ten years, maintenance is paid for forty percent of the duration of marriage. For marriages lasting more than ten years, but less than fifteen years, maintenance is paid for sixty percent of the duration of marriage. For marriages lasting more than fifteen years, but less than twenty years, maintenance is paid for eighty percent of the duration of marriage. For marriages lasting more than twenty years, maintenance can be set on a permanent basis or for a duration equal to the length of the marriage. If you are seeking maintenance or defending against a claim of maintenance, call Figiel Law Offices, Ltd. at 773.774.6084 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.