Spousal and Child Support: Need to Know for High Net-Worth Earners in Illinois

Woman signing her divorce agreement with spousal support.
  • Feb 20 2020

High-net worth earners in Illinois may not be subject to the same rules for calculating child support and spousal support. Support payments impact your current and future financial stability and wellbeing. Therefore, it can be beneficial to work with an experienced Illinois high net worth divorce attorney to ensure that your domestic support payments are reasonable and calculated accurately. 

Calculating Child Support Payments in Illinois for High Net Worth Parents

Illinois uses an income shares method for calculating child support obligations. A couple’s combined net income and the number of children being supported are used to calculate the monthly amount required for the financial support of the couple’s child or children. The child support amount is based on standard child support guidelines. 

The amount is shared between the spouses based on their percentage of net income. The parent who has primary physical care of the child receives child support payments from the other parent. However, if both parents have the child for at least 146 nights per year, the calculation of child support payments varies slightly due to the “shared parenting situation.” Other factors could impact the amount of child support paid, including non-basic expenses for the child’s education, health insurance, childcare, and extracurricular activities. 

However, high net worth earners may not be subject to the standard Illinois child support guidelines. The current Income Shares Schedule for basic child support obligations ceases calculations at a combined parental net income of $30,024.99. In cases involving couples with a net monthly income exceeding this amount, judges have the discretion to determine the amount of the monthly child support obligation. 

Additionally, judges can consider other factors when determining child support payments. In a high net worth situation, a judge may consider the cost of nannies, private schools, expensive hobbies, specialized extra-curricular activities, and other expenses that might be necessary to continue the standard of living that the child was accustomed to before the divorce.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance in High Net Worth Divorces

Illinois also has guidelines for calculating standard spousal maintenance (alimony). 

For couples who have a combined income of less than $500,000 and no prior domestic support obligations, the amount of spousal maintenance is based on a standard calculation. The formula to calculate standard spousal support is 30 percent of the payor’s gross income less than 20 percent of the payee’s gross income. The cap for spousal support is 40 percent of the combined gross income of both parties. The length of the marriage determines the duration of spousal support payments.

However, the calculation of spousal support for high net worth couples is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you and your spouse earn more than $500,000 per year, a judge considers 14 factors when calculating spousal maintenance:

  • Each person’s income, assets, and financial obligations;
  • Each spouse’s needs;
  • The reasonable expectation for present and future earning capacity of each spouse;
  • The diminished earning capacity of a spouse requesting support who devoted time to domestic duties or gave up education, career, training, or employment opportunities for the marriage;
  • Any reasonable expectation of a present or future decrease in earning capacity of the spouse paying support payments;
  • The time it would reasonably take for a spouse seeking maintenance to obtain the education, training, or employment to support himself or herself;
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage;
  • The number of years the couple was married;
  • The sources of income, age, occupation, health, vocational skills, station, liabilities, and estate of each spouse;
  • All sources of income;
  • Any tax consequences related to property division;
  • The contributions of the party seeking support to the career, education, and training of the other spouse;
  • A valid agreement between the parties; and,
  • Any other factors that the judge finds to be equitable and just.

The financial and tax implications of spousal maintenance for both parties are substantial. Working with an attorney, tax professional, and financial advisor is strongly recommended for high net worth individuals who are going through a divorce. 

Contact an Illinois Child Support Attorney for More Information

Regardless of your income level, it is important to work with an experienced Illinois child support attorney to ensure that your domestic support obligations are calculated according to applicable laws and guidelines.  Contact the Illinois divorce attorneys at the Goodman Law Firm. 

Posted in: Spousal maintenance