What Factors Are Considered When Determining Spousal Support

17 July 2020
 Categories: , Blog


Are you going to get divorced and it is likely that you'll have to pay spousal support? If so, you may be wondering how that final amount is calculated. Here are some of the factors that go into calculating spousal support. 

The Income Levels

One of the biggest factors that will be looked at is each person's income level. However, it is not just based on how much each person is making, but what they could potentially make after the divorce. For example, if someone has been out of the workforce because they are a stay at home parent, they will not have any previous income and their future income will be limited. It will be hard for that person to not only get a job, but get a well paying job to match your current income.

Meanwhile, if you were working while your spouse was going to school, it is very possible that their future income will exceed your own after they get a job in their field. This will be factored into spousal support since their potential earnings are going to be high

The Length Of The Marriage

Many states have laws that use the length of the marriage to determine how many years that spousal support will last. For example, Illinois has their laws clearly listed so that there should be no confusion. If you were married for less than 5 years, then spousal support will only last for 20% of the time you were married. If you were married for over 20 years, you could potentially end up paying spousal support indefinitely. 

The Assets

The court will look at two types of assets that play a factor into how much spousal support is received. They will start by looking at the non-marital assets, which are those that were owned by the person before the marriage and they get to keep. The court will also look at the marital assets that each person gets to keep after the divorce. If one person is receiving the house in a divorce and does not have to worry about the mortgage payment, it is possible that keeping the house will significantly reduce the amount of spousal support they receive since that major monthly expense is covered.

Have more questions about spousal support? Reach out to a local divorce lawyer for assistance navigating this very complicated formula that will be applied to your divorce case.