Anderson & Boback Logo

Why Get a Cap on Maintenance Bonuses?

Published
Categorized as Spousal Support

Whether you have been ordered to pay maintenance to your spouse, or are in the process of determining how much to pay maintenance to your spouse, you probably know by now that your bonuses are included as part of the calculation.

 

Maintenance calculations in Illinois are based on several factors, including the income of each party and the standard of living established during the marriage, among other factors. If bonuses have been part of your income during the marriage, then it has been part of the standard of living established during the marriage. The problem comes, however, as to how to include the bonuses into the maintenance calculation.

 

If you are the spouse requesting maintenance, you will want to include the bonuses as part of the total calculation to determine a fixed monthly amount. The problem with this calculation is that bonuses may only come at the end of the year, which would mean a severe cash flow for the first 11 months until the bonus arrives. In addition, bonuses are usually not guaranteed and could vary. Because of this issue, most payor spouses will request that maintenance be based on their base salary. With this option, however, the payor spouse will likely be required to pay maintenance off of his bonuses.

 

Because maintenance is supposed to maintain the “standard of living” established during the marriage, it seems to reason that there needs to be a limit, or “cap”, on the amount that a spouse should be ordered to pay from their bonuses. If the payor has an excellent year after the marriage, and earns an additional $20k-$50 in bonuses, then the payee spouse gets a windfall in that she benefits from income she never enjoyed during the marriage.

 

As a result, if you are the payor spouse, you should request that the judge cap the amount of maintenance you are required to pay from your bonus to a fixed amount that closely resembles the standard of living established during the marriage. This would likely be a fixed number, such as no bonuses paid after the payor reaches $100,000. That way, the payor spouse has an incentive to continue to continue to earn more money, and the payee spouse also gets her portion of the bonus.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

A cohabitation agreement is an agreement or contract entered into between two people living together in the same household who are in a romantic relationship but not married. With more millennial couples choosing to live together, whether planning to marry…

When going through a divorce it's not uncommon to think "I never want to get married again!" But later, you may fall in love again and be ready to venture into marriage again. If you are planning to remarry, you…

While doing an initial consultation with an individual looking to get divorced, I have found it is common to get questions about whether it is possible for a divorcing couple to work together with an attorney to do a collaborative…

No one likes to pay spousal maintenance (formally called "alimony" or referred to as spousal support). When you are employed and your ex refuses to work, there is a greater reluctance to want to pay maintenance. In Chicago divorces, there…

Finding the best child custody lawyer in Chicago may seem like a daunting and intimidating process if you have never been involved in a legal dispute. This is especially true when it comes to a custody case involving your children…

Parenting disputes, and accusations of being a bad or unfit parent, are extremely common in the world of divorce, juvenile, and family law. Many parents enter the courtroom with a laundry list of accusations of poor parenting against the other…

RECENT POST
Categories
Archives
Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Why Choose
ANDERSON & BOBACK?

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview
    ANDERSON & BOBACK?

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870