Illinois Maintenance Calculator

Illinois Maintenance Calculator

Recently, the Illinois legislature set forth guidelines for calculating maintenance.  The guidelines provide a formula for calculating maintenance.  The Illinois maintenance formula is relatively straightforward.  Section 504 of the IMDMA provides in relevant part that maintenance:

shall be calculated by taking 30% of the payor’s gross income minus 20% of the payee’s gross income. The amount calculated as maintenance, however, when added to the gross income of the payee, may not result in the payee receiving an amount that is in excess of 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.

A Sample Maintenance Calculation using the Illinois Maintenance Formula

Let’s run through an example using the following assumptions.  Assume Spouse A makes $100,000.00 annually and Spouse B makes $50,000.00.  Also assume that Spouse B is seeking maintenance from Spouse A.

Step 1: Calculate 30% of Spouse A’s gross income

$100,000 x 30% = $30,000

Step 2:  Calculate 20% of Spouse B’s income

$50,000 x 20% = $10,000 

Step 3: Subtract your result in Step 2 from your result in Step 1 to determine the tentative maintenance award.  Here, the tentative maintenance award is $20,000.

Tentative Maintenance:  $30,000-$10,000= $20,000

Step 4: Verify that tentative maintenance award calculated in Step 3 when added to recipient’s (Spouse B) gross income does not exceed 40% of the couples combined gross income.  First, we determine the couple’s combined gross income:

Combined Gross Income: $100,000 + $50,000 = $150,000

Second, we calculate 40% of the couple’s combined gross income:

Forty Percent of combined Annual Income: $150,000 x 40% = $60,000

Third, we add our tentative maintenance award calculated above to the recipient spouse’s (Spouse B) annual gross income.

Tentative Maintenance + Payee Gross Income: $20,000 +$50,000 = $70,000

Fourth, we need to check whether Spouse B’s tentative maintenance award when added to annual gross income exceeds forty percent of the couple’s combined gross annual income.


Tentative maintenance Award ($20,000)+ Spouse B’s Gross Income ($50,000) must be less than or equal to forty percent of combined annual income ($60,000)

In this example, $70,000 is greater than $60,000, so the tentative maintenance award must be reduced to not exceed forty percent of the combined gross income.  Here we see that the tentative maintenance award is $10,000 in excess of forty percent of the couple’s combined gross income ($70,000-$60,000 = $10,000).  Therefore, the tentative maintenance award is reduced from $20,000 annually to $10,000 annually (or about $833.00 monthly).

Maintenance Formula is Only a Guideline

As you can see above, maintenance calculations, even under the new maintenance formula, are complex.  In addition, the formula is simply a guideline.  A court is not obligated to strictly apply the maintenance guideline to any case.  There are many factors that would cause a court to deviate from awarding guideline maintenance.

If you have questions about maintenance awards under Illinois law, Goodman Law Firm can help.  We have experience counseling men and women about their maintenance concerns.  We can help you determine what a just maintenance award looks like in your situation.  Call us today at 630-674-6700 and get the answers you need to all your maintenance questions.