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Illinois Alimony Laws

Alimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, refers to payments made to a former spouse after a divorce. Illinois provides for alimony under certain circumstances.

Illinois Alimony Laws Overview

Illinois courts have a substantial amount of discretion in determining whether to award alimony, as well as the amount and duration of the support to be paid. The following chart list the factors considered by courts when determining whether to grant alimony in Illinois:


Illinois Statutes, Chapter 750, Families § 5/504

Factors Considered By The Court

The court will consider the following factors in determining whether a maintenance award is appropriate:

  1. The income and property of each party;
  2. The needs of each party;
  3. The present and future earning capacity of the parties;
  4. The impairment of the present and future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to decisions the party made on account of the marriage;
  5. The impairment of the reasonable present or future earning capacity of the party against whom maintenance is being sought;
  6. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  7. The duration of the marriage;
  8. The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each party;
  9. All sources of public and private income;
  10. The tax consequences of the property division;
  11. Contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career, career potential, or license of the other spouse;
  12. Any valid agreement of the parties;
  13. Any other factor the court finds just and equitable.
Amount & Duration

Where the court determines maintenance is appropriate it shall order either:

  1. Maintenance in accordance with the guidelines: Where the combined gross income of the parties is less than $250,000, and the payor has no obligation to pay child support or maintenance from a prior relationship the amount will be;
    • 30% of the payors gross income minus 20% of the payee's gross income, but not more than 40% of the combined gross income; or
    • The duration of the award is calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage by a decimal amount listed in the statute. Marriages of 20 years or more may, at the court's discretion, receive permanent support or support for a duration equal to the length of the marriage.
  2. Maintenance not in accordance with the guidelines: upon consideration of the factors previously listed.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

If You're Ending Your Marriage, an Illinois Divorce Attorney Can Help

The Illinois divorce process allows courts to examine a wide array of factors when they determine whether to award alimony, as well as how much, and for how long. An attorney can help you prepare a presentation that introduces all the evidence necessary to ensure the court's decision is fair to you (especially if the other party is also lawyered-up). Get started today and find an experienced Illinois divorce attorney near you.

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