In a blog post dated June 5, 2017, I discussed some of the changes to the maintenance provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act that took place in 2015. In particular, I discussed how the statute was changed to make it clearer how long a party would have to pay maintenance, based upon the number of years the parties were married. All the while, a house bill was being passed in both the house and the senate that would change the way we calculate the duration of maintenance beginning in 2018.
Currently, the duration of maintenance is calculated by multiplying a set of numbers to the length of the marriage. The table currently reads as follows: for marriages of five (5) years or less, multiply the length of the marriage by 0.2; for marriages of more than five (5) years but less than ten (10) years, multiply the length of the marriage by 0.4; for marriages ten (10) years or more but less than fifteen (15) years, multiply the length of the marriage by 0.6; and for marriages of fifteen (15) years or more but less than twenty years, multiply the length of the marriage by 0.8. Under current law, marriages of twenty (20) year or more qualify for permanent maintenance, or maintenance equal to the duration of the marriage.
The new law will change this table drastically. As opposed to calculating the duration of marriage in groups of years (0-5; 5-10; 10-15; 15-20; and 20+), the table will have a calculation for every year of the marriage. Therefore, there will be different multipliers for marriages of 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and so on. This will result in shorter maintenance for most Illinois citizens when compared to the current method of calculation, depending on how long you have been married. It is unclear when this law will come into play, but it is believed to become effective either January 1, 2018 or July 1, 2018.