maintenance, Rolling Meadows divorce attorneysIf you are divorced, you may have been ordered to pay your spouse spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, is designed to help subsidize a financially-disadvantaged spouse after a divorce. For example, a stay-at-home parent who forgoes work outside the home to care for children is left at a serious disadvantage after divorce. Reentering the work force can be difficult or impossible after such a long absence. Depending on the health, employability, and life circumstances of an individual awarded spousal support, the support may be ordered to last indefinitely. Other times, support is only ordered temporarily.

There are several ways in which spousal maintenance obligations terminate or are available for modification. If you want to stop or modify court-ordered spousal support payments, it may be helpful to learn about Illinois spousal maintenance laws.

Spousal Support Automatically Ends in Some Circumstances

Illinois courts automatically terminate spousal support in some situations. If the recipient spouse passes away, for example, maintenance payments are terminated. Payer spouses are also not required to continue making support payments if the recipient spouse is cohabitating with another person as “de facto husband and wife.” Cohabitation is usually considered to mean that the individuals are living together, sharing finances, and generally behaving as a married couple. If the recipient spouse remarries, the payer spouse is no longer required to make support payments. If you find out that your ex-spouse is cohabitating or has remarried, you can file a motion with the county court to have your spousal support requirement terminated.

When Can Spousal Maintenance Be Modified?

Spousal support may be modified, but only if either party’s financial circumstances significantly changes. Decisions about spousal support changes are largely at the discretion of the court. Those seeking a spousal support modification must file a motion to modify spousal maintenance and explain the reason they are requesting the change. Changes in circumstances which usually justify a spousal support modification include any:

  • Change in employment made in good faith;
  • Damage to the present or future earning capacity of either party; and
  • Major change in either party’s income since the original maintenance order,

After a motion for spousal support is requested, there will be a hearing during which the court will hear arguments from both parties. A family law attorney experienced with spousal support issues can be a tremendously valuable resource when seeking to reduce or terminate maintenance payments.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

To learn more about your legal options regarding spousal maintenance, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer. Schedule your free initial consultation at The Cosley Law Office by calling us at 847-253-3100 today.


Posted in Alimony, Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , ,

marital estate, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyIf you are considering divorce or have already decided to end your marriage, you probably have many questions. One of these questions may be about how your accumulated wealth and property will be divided during the divorce process. Television and movies are rife with examples of a resentful spouse getting more than their fair share during a divorce. However, Illinois courts do make every effort to make property division decisions as fairly as possible. If you are wondering how your property will be divided between you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse, read on to learn about Illinois equitable distribution laws.

If You and Your Spouse Agree on How to Divide Property

Illinois courts encourage divorcing couples to make their own decisions about property. If a couple can agree on who will get what after the divorce, there may be no need for court intervention. Understandably, some divorcing couples are not able to come to such an agreement. If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement about property and debt, the courts will use a method called equitable distribution to make property decisions.

If You and Your Spouse Cannot Agree on Property Division

Only marital property is divided during divorce. Marital property generally includes all the wealth and assets a couple accumulated after getting married. Non-marital or separate property includes property a spouse entered into the relationship with already. Separate property can become marital property if it is comingled. For example, if a husband enters the marriage with a sizable savings account and then uses some of that money for household expenses, the whole account may be considered marital property.

When an Illinois court decides what property belongs to what spouse after a divorce, it uses a method called equitable distribution. Instead of splitting the marital estate 50-50, many factors are considered by courts in order to reach the most reasonable and fair distribution possible. Illinois courts consider factors including but not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate;
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or caretaker;
  • Any dissipation or wasted/hidden assets;
  • The value of property assigned to each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances;
  • Any prior marriages;
  • Any valid premarital or prenuptial agreement;
  • The age, health, occupation, employability, and needs of each spouse;
  • Custody provisions for children of the marriage;
  • Whether or not spousal maintenance (spousal support) is being ordered; and
  • Tax consequences of property division.




Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney Today

If you have further questions about property division or another aspect of divorce, contact the experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyers at the Cosley Law Office. Call us at 847-253-3100 to schedule a free initial consultation.



Posted in Division of Property, Divorce | Tagged , , , , , ,

social media, Arlington Heights divorce attorneysSocial media has revolutionized the way we talk to our friends and loved ones. Most people who experience a major life change such as a marriage or birth of a child write about the event on their social media pages. Ideally, everyone would be able to post what they wanted to online without any negative consequences. Realistically, however, almost everything you do or say online could come back to cause problems for you during divorce. Those undergoing a separation or divorce should make sure to post with caution and avoid the most common social media blunders.

Bragging About Expensive Vacations or Other Purchases

You can inadvertently cause problems for yourself in the future by posting information about major purchases on social media during your divorce. If you are putting pictures up of a new car or computer, this will could your argument for spousal support. You may have been pinching pennies for a long time to afford your new things, but such posts can create the impression that you are making money “under the table” or are otherwise not being honest about your assets.

Glorifying Drug and Alcohol Use

Most people who get divorced understandably struggle with the negative emotions associated with ending a marriage. In order to deal with this, they may turn to drugs, alcohol, or other unhealthy coping mechanisms. If you are a parent and you post pictures of yourself partying on a regular basis, your soon-to-be-ex could argue that your social media posts depict an unhealthy lifestyle. This is likely to further complicate child custody and visitation issues.

Parental Alienation

Everyone feels better after venting their frustrations about a spouse or soon-to-be-ex-spouse. However, if you are a parent who is planning to end your marriage, you should be extra careful about what you post online. Rants or negative comments about your spouse can be seen by your children and could lead to allegations of “parental alienation.” Parental alienation is a term used for instances when one parents attempts to turn their children against the other parent. Such behavior is deeply upsetting to children and Illinois courts do not look favorably on parents who attempt to use their children as weapons.

Contact an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney for Help

If you are getting divorced and have further questions about the dissolution of marriage, child custody, or other family law issues, reach out to the experienced family law professionals at the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer, call 847-253-3100 today.



Posted in Cell Phone Use, Divorce, Social Media and Divorce | Tagged , , , , , ,