The vast majority of couples who get divorced in Illinois want to move on with their lives and not have anything to do with each other once the divorce is finalized. However, certain situations - including spousal maintenance, or alimony, payments - can keep former spouses tied together long after the bonds of love have been severed.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals sometimes try to take advantage of the system and their former spouse by hiding important details that would potentially end spousal maintenance payments. If you are paying spousal maintenance and are wondering whether you may be eligible to stop, read on.
When Can I Stop Paying Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?
There are four types of spousal maintenance in Illinois:
- Interim maintenance, which is paid during divorce proceedings
- Fixed-term spousal maintenance, which is determined in the divorce agreement for a set period of time
- Reviewable spousal maintenance, which is subject to be reviewed periodically and terminated or renewed
- Permanent or long-term spousal maintenance, which can be awarded for the remainder of the recipient’s lifetime
The amount and length of spousal maintenance payments will depend on many factors, including how long the marriage lasted, the marital standard of living, each spouse’s current and earning potential, and more. However, no matter what kind of spousal maintenance was awarded and how long it is supposed to last, certain situations can make the recipient ineligible to continue receiving payments.
When Does Spousal Maintenance End?
When the receiving spouse gets remarried, payments end automatically - the paying spouse does not even have to ask the court for permission to terminate payments. However, spousal maintenance also ends when the recipient begins cohabiting with a new partner. But there can be some question about whether a couple is cohabiting or simply dating and spending a lot of time together. When a court is deciding whether the couple’s actions are considered cohabitation, they will look at:
- How long the couple has been together
- How much time they spend together
- Whether they have commingled other aspects of their lives, such as bank accounts, bills, etc.
- Whether they travel together and spend holidays together
- What kind of activities they do together
Even recipients who are not having sex with their new partner could be deemed cohabiting in a relationship. If your ex is with someone new, your obligation to pay spousal maintenance ends as soon as they begin cohabiting. If they are hiding the cohabitation, and you can prove it, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement. An attorney can help you gather evidence to prove to a court that your ex is cohabiting with a new partner.
Talk to a Wheaton, IL Spousal Maintenance Attorney
If you know or suspect that your ex is living with a new partner, you likely want to know whether you can terminate spousal maintenance payments. The team of experienced Wheaton spousal maintenance attorneys here at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you investigate the situation and petition to change your divorce decree if appropriate. Call us now at 630-871-1002 to schedule a complimentary consultation.