A part of many divorces in Orland Park is determining alimony. As this is meant to help, a spouse be able to financially support themselves after losing their spouse’s income. Because of that, it is crucial to reach an agreement that is fair to both parties.

A well-versed alimony lawyer can explain the process of determining spousal support. They then can help advocate for your interests to make sure that any agreement in place is fair to you.

How is Spousal Maintenance Determined in Orland Park?

On January 1, 2019, the maintenance calculations and awards changed drastically. Before 2019, there was a different formula that was based on the gross incomes of the parties. For 2019 and beyond, it is now based upon the net incomes of the parties. The biggest reason for the change was that under the new tax laws, maintenance payments were no longer deductible for the payor and no longer includable on the income of the recipient for tax purposes. This led to states across the country, including Illinois, to make major changes to the calculation of maintenance awards. Under the new law, which applies for anybody seeking a new divorce, they are looking at a percentage of the net income.

Essentially the payor, the person who owes the support, pays 33 percent of their net income and subtracts 25 percent of the payee or the recipient of maintenance’s income. The most that could go to the recipient is 40 percent of the net income of the parties. The most difficult aspect of determining alimony is calculating the net income. Many attorneys utilize available software, which is the best for coming up with an educated guess. It is hard to say with absolute certainty that what somebody’s taxable income is and what their net income is.

However, it is important to understand that if a divorce was entered prior to 2019 the old formula would be used. It is also important to note that, even if someone modifies the maintenance amount, they still can use the old formula so long as they include the proper language. If someone is seeking to modify maintenance, it is very important to speak with an attorney who can make sure they understand exactly the right language to include so they do not lose any past deductions.

The Role of a Person’s Earning Capacity in Alimony Calculations

The person’s education and professional capacity factors into a spousal maintenance determination, in the sense that it would influence the amount of money that they could make. For example, the more educated someone is, the more money they will likely make. Similarly, the more money a person has a history of earning, the higher their earning capacity may be.

When determining a person’s earning capacity, an attorney would have to look at their earning history and try to make a projection for the future. They have to look at the facts of the situation and apply it individually.

Learn More About Determining Alimony in Orland Park

The process of determining spousal maintenance in Orland Park is complex. This is partially due to the necessity of determining a person’s earning capacity and partially due to the recent changes in the law. For that reason, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney when calculating support orders. To discuss your situation, call Reidy Law Office LLC for a consultation.