When Can I Stop Making Spousal Maintenance Payments in Illinois?

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.



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