The new maintenance statute came into effect in Illinois January 1, 2016. The parties divorced a number of years earlier. They went back to court after their divorce. The issue was modification of maintenance. Husband claimed that he was losing his job. He intended to retire. He argued that there was a substantial change of circumstances.

The trial court Judge stated that the new guidelines did not apply because their case was in effect before 2016. The new guidelines provide for maintenance to extend for a certain number of years, and in a certain amount. There were specific provisions to determine if there was a substantial change of circumstances. The prior law was not based on specific guidelines. Wife appealed. The Appellate Court reversed.

The new guidelines apply to a) all proceedings commenced on or after Jan 1, 2016. It applied to b) all pending proceedings started before Jan 1, 2016 with respect to issues on which a judgment is not final. c) all proceedings started after Jan. 1, 2016 for the modification of a judgment or order entered before Jan. 1, 2016.

Ex-husband filed his petition to terminate or reduce maintenance after Jan. 1, 2016. The petition sought modification of an earlier order. The 2016 amendments clearly applied to the petition. The new guidelines should have been applied to these proceedings.

In re Marriage of Carstens, 2018 IL App (2d) 170183.

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