Parties are divorcing. The trial court ordered the Husband to pay the Wife temporary maintenance. $3,700 per month plus 20% of Husband’s future bonuses. The order was to be reviewed after seven years. Husband and wife both appealed.

Husband argued that the maintenance should stop at three years. He also argued that the bonus payment was wrong. It would be an uncapped amount. It had nothing to do with the Wife’s standard of living during the marriage. It had nothing to do with her needs.

The wife argued that the maintenance should continue for her lifetime. She thought this was only fair.

The Appellate Court ruled that the maintenance was to be reviewed after 7 years. The Appellate Court also said that the bonus payment to the Wife was wrong. It could be a potential windfall to the Wife. That is not how maintenance is set.

Maintenance is designed to allow the person getting it to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. It must have a specific relationship to the Wife’s present needs. The bonus formula was not set up with any specifics in evidence.

A trial court may base maintenance on a percentage of the supporting spouse’s income. Under the right circumstances. But the percentage of bonus formula was not the right formula to use.

The Appellate Court sent the case back to the Trial Court to recalculate the maintenance.

IRMO Micheli, 2014 IL App. (2nd) 121245.

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