The Illinois maintenance law went through a major overhaul between 2018 and 2019 in that the calculation for the amount of maintenance changed and the tax treatment of maintenance payments changed because of the new tax laws. Imagine a scenario where a judge enters a divorce judgment in 2018 that awards maintenance (alimony) to the wife, but the amount is not set at the time. The judgment just says that upon the occurrence of a specific event, the wife will be awarded guideline maintenance. The judgement does not specifically state whether the 2018 version or 2019 version of the law should be used to determine the “guideline” amount, however.
Fast forward in this scenario to March of 2019 when specific maintenance triggering event occurs. Using the 2018 version of the law, the wife would receive $400 each month for maintenance, however, using the 2019 version of the law, the wife would not be entitled to any maintenance at all. Which law should be used? Does it matter that the 2018 judgment says that the wife was in need of maintenance?