New Maintenance Calculations
Some of the changes are geared to clean-up the language to make it gender-neutral. This change rewrites the calculation for the duration of spousal maintenance and raises the combined income ceiling for couples to whom the maintenance guidelines apply from $250,000 to $500,000.
"Custody" is replaced with "parental responsibility" in an attempt to reduce strife between divorcing parties. These specific changes seem to be an attempt to make that language the same throughout the ILCS.
One of the biggest changes in 750 ILCS 5/504, which involves the calculation of spousal maintenance and its duration increases the gross-income ceiling for cases to which the guidelines apply from $250,000 per year to $500,000 per year.
Another change in addition to the gross-income ceiling for calculating maintenance is the modification to the duration. Under the present calculation, the duration of maintenance is calculated based on five-year blocks of time.
• 0 to 5 years, the multiple is .20;
• 5 to 10 years, the multiple is .40;
• 10 to 15 years, the multiple is .60;
• 15 to 20 years, the multiple is .80; and
• 20 or more years, the court may either make the duration equal to the length of the marriage (i.e., a multiple of 1.0) or make maintenance permanent.
Today, for example, if the marriage lasts 5 years and one day, the multiplier doubles versus the 5-year marriage. It's foreseeable that this method can lead to fairness issues or used tactically. The new calculation seems to be the more logical approach.
Under the new calculation:
- less than 5 years, the multiple is .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 10 years .72;
- 18 years or more but less than 10 years .76;
- 19 years or more but less than 10 years .80;
- 20 years or more, length of the marriage or an indefinite term.
As we can see, a one day difference doesn't double the modifier; the one-day filing difference as in the above example, only increases the modifier from .20 to .24 rather than doubling under the present calculation.