Spousal maintenance can be modified at the discretion of an Illinois judge should they find that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred after the original order was entered. Depending on the judge’s assessment, the amount can be increased, decreased, or terminated. A skilled lawyer can help you determine if modifications to spousal maintenance are possible.
What Situations Can Terminate Spousal Maintenance?
Typically, only three major situations will terminate currently court-ordered spousal maintenance: Cohabitation, getting remarried, or death. Any of these three to terminate spousal support payments will require having a motion to terminate maintenance filed with the court. Here is what those situations mean:
- Living with someone new (cohabitation): If the receiving party begins living with a new romantic interest, this is grounds for terminating maintenance obligations. However, the receiving party must be in or pursuing a romantic relationship with the individual. A platonic roommate does not qualify as grounds for spousal support termination.
- Getting remarried: Taking on new wedding vows can end maintenance support obligations. The recipient must notify the payer of their change in circumstances at least 30 days before the new marriage takes place. This should provide the payer enough time to file a motion for termination of spousal maintenance to the court.
- Death to either spouse: As the estate of the recipient does not have spousal support rights, the maintenance will end upon their death. Any payments made after the passing of the recipient to the estate must be paid back to the payer by the estate.
What Other Situations Is a Spousal Support Modification Possible?
Modifications to court-ordered spousal maintenance require a substantial change of circumstances for a motion to be filed. The factors that a judge will use to justify a modification include:
- Employment changes
- Recipient’s efforts toward becoming self-sustaining
- Injury or other impairments that hinder earning capacity
- A change in economic circumstances
- The current duration of maintenance payments already made
- Property status, if used in a divorce to reduce maintenance payments
- Other equitable factors at the judge’s discretion
For employment changes to be sufficient for a modification, it will require that the changes were made in good faith. The obligated party who quits their job to have their payments reduced is not likely to have the payments modified. The same can be said of the recipient who is looking to modify the order for an increase in payments.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney
Financial complications arise when you least expect them. The [[title]] can provide a Wheaton, IL spousal support lawyer with the experience to help you file your motion to the court. We can honestly assess your situation and provide valued feedback and advice on what to do next. Contact the office at [[phone]] for a free consultation and discussion of your legal matters.