Tag Archives: child support

Money and Property – How Illinois’ New Divorce Law Impacts Your Wallet

Guest Post by: Andrew G. Vaughn. Divorce Attorney/Founder of NuVorce LLC and Professor of Advanced Domestic Relations Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

divorce and money 123rf

On January 1, 2016 a new set of divorce laws became effective in Illinois. These laws changed many of the core practices in divorce. In this three part guest blog post, we will discuss: (1) the fundamentals of divorce, (2) how this new law impacts your kids, and (3) how this new law impacts your wallet.

The Basics

There are three basic financial issues that can impact you in a divorce: (1) Alimony, (2) Child Support, and (3) Property Division.

Alimony

Alimony is financial support for a spouse. Under the new Divorce Law, Illinois has adopted a formula for alimony which is: (Step 1) Multiply the gross income (income before taxes) of Alimony Paying Spouse by .3, (Step 2) Multiply the gross income of the Alimony Receiving Spouse by .2, (Step 3) subtract the product of Step 2 from the product of Step 1. This is the amount of alimony that is to be paid. (Note: there are exceptions to this formula – such as for couples who earn more than $250,000. There are also additional steps in the formula, but this is the basic idea.)

Child Support

Child support is paid from one spouse to another to support the children. Under the new Illinois Divorce Law, there is a formula for child support which is the following percentages of net income (income after taxes) based on the number of children you have: 1 child – 20%, 2 children 28%, 3 children 32%, 4 children 40%, 5 children 45%, 6 or more children – 50%. (Note: there is a provision that allows for exceptions to this formula, but this is applied in most cases.)

Property Division

Property consists of the assets (items with positive value – real estate, retirement accounts, business interests, etc.) and liabilities (items with negative value – mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, etc.). Under the new Illinois Divorce Law, the court follows three steps before dividing property: (1) Classification: identify if property is marital or non-marital (marital property is anything you acquired during the marriage; non-marital property is property from before you were married or that you got by inheritance or gift), (2) value the property (i.e. How much is your business actually worth?), and (3) divide the marital property equitably (equitably means fair, so not necessarily 50/50).

Bottom Line

There are now formulas for alimony and child support. Formulas may make the process easier and more predictable, but the use of formulas may be unfair in certain circumstances. Marital property will be divided fairly – so not necessarily 50/50.

If you’d like to know more, visit us at www.nuvorce.com, email us at info@nuvorce.com, or call us at 312-802-2897.

divorce 123rf

Guest Post by: Andrew G. Vaughn. Divorce Attorney/Founder of NuVorce LLC and Professor of Advanced Domestic Relations Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

On January 1, 2016 a new set of divorce laws became effective in Illinois. These laws changed many of the core practices in divorce. In this three part guest blog post, we will discuss: (1) the fundamentals of divorce, (2) how this new law impacts your kids, and (3) how this new law impacts your wallet.

The Basics

Divorce impacts every aspect of your life, from how often you see your children to how much you can spend at Starbucks. Because of this, it can seem very complex. However, some of the new changes to the law have simplified the process. In this post, we’ll discuss how to identify what issues you will have in your divorce and the grounds for divorce.

Identifying the Issues

Do you have children? If the answer is yes, you will need to consider at least 5 issues in your divorce: (1) Child Custody, (2) Visitation, (3) Child Support, (4) Alimony, and (5) Property Division. If the answer is no, you will need to consider only two of those issues: (1) Alimony and (2) Property Division.

Grounds for Divorce

In 2015 and earlier, you could be divorce for one of two reasons (which are called grounds because lawyers have to make things complicated). The first reason for divorce was what the statute called “Fault Grounds.” This included adultery, abuse, impotence, etc. The second reason for divorce was called “No Fault.” This meant that basically the marriage has just broken down. Under the new Illinois Divorce Law the only reason for divorce is “No Fault.”

As part of the “No Fault” grounds for divorce, you also have to prove that you and your spouse have been separated. Under the old law, you had to be separated for two years (but there was an exception where you could agree to a shorter separation). Under the new Illinois Divorce Law, that separation period has been reduced to 6 months.

Bottom Line

Under the new law divorce can happen faster (6 months of separation instead of 2 years) and should happen nicer (under the no fault concept – no one needs to drag their spouse through the mud to get the divorce).

If you’d like to know more, visit us at www.nuvorce.com, email us at info@nuvorce.com, or call us at 312-802-2897.