Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator

During a divorce, it can sometimes be difficult to translate statue and laws into real world examples. This is especially true for maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support.

Figuring out the numbers and specifics during your divorce can add a lot of stress to an already stressful time. At the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern in Evanston and Chicago, we have provided a real-world example of maintenance and created a maintenance calculator to help you better understand maintenance awards in your unique situation—and help your divorce be resolved as quickly as possible.

As always, it is advisable to consult with a divorce attorney about the specifics of your case. Please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern with any questions you may have.

How to Calculate Maintenance in Illinois

Except where the couple otherwise agrees, maintenance awards in Illinois typically follow a statutory formula. By statute, maintenance is calculated at 30 percent of the higher earning spouse’s income minus 20 percent of the lower earning spouse’s income. The lower earning spouse cannot receive more than 40 percent of the parties’ combined income.

What does that mean? Let’s say Jane and John are going through a divorce. Jane earns $100,000 per year and John earns $45,000. Since Jane has a higher income, she will be paying alimony to John. His spousal support would be calculated as follows:

  • ($100,000 X .3) – ($45,000 X .2) = $21,000 per year
  • $21,000 per year plus John’s income of $45,000 is $66,000
  • However, the payee (John) may not receive more than 40% of the combined gross ($145,000 X .4) = $58,000
  • In this case, ($21,000 + $45,000) = $66,000, which would be more than 40% of the combined gross
  • As a result, maintenance for John is capped at $13,000 annually ($58,000 – $45,000)

Bottom line: maintenance can be complicated. But the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern in Evanston and Chicago is familiar with the legal statutes and committed to helping the process be as easy as possible. When it comes to the numbers, we believe you shouldn’t be left confused.

Contact an Evanston Divorce Law Firm

Contact the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern with any questions about maintenance or alimony; we are happy to help. Request a free consultation online or call us at (847) 868-9584. We can meet with you in our offices in Evanston or Chicago, or at another location.

Our boutique family law firm is based in Evanston and serves clients across Chicago and the North Shore, including Skokie, Winnetka, Wilmette and Glenview.


“Josh is wonderful—super patient, easy to reach. Makes a stressful situation more doable for sure. Highly recommend!”

Allie C., Chicago
For a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern at (847) 868-9584 or contact us.