When couples decide to divorce in Illinois, they have two options: a contested divorce or a non-contested divorce.
March 31, 2023
How Does Remarrying Affect my Maintenance or Alimony Award?
Remarrying can have a significant impact on maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony) in Illinois. Maintenance is awarded to a spouse who is unable to support themselves after a divorce and is intended to provide financial support for a period of time until the recipient can become financially self-sufficient. However, if the recipient of maintenance remarries, it can affect the amount and duration of the maintenance award. In this blog post, we will explore how remarrying can affect maintenance in Illinois.
Termination of Maintenance upon Remarriage
In Illinois, maintenance terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient. This means that if the recipient of maintenance remarries, they are no longer entitled to receive maintenance from their former spouse. This is because the purpose of maintenance is to provide financial support to a spouse who is unable to support themselves after a divorce, and if the recipient remarries, they are presumed to have found a new source of financial support.
Modification of Maintenance upon Cohabitation
In addition to termination upon remarriage, maintenance may also be modified if the recipient enters into a new cohabitation relationship. Cohabitation is defined as a living arrangement where two people live together as a couple, but are not married. If the recipient of maintenance enters into a new cohabitation relationship, the paying spouse may request a modification of the maintenance award. The court will consider a variety of factors, including the length and nature of the relationship, the financial contributions of the cohabiting partner, and the impact of the cohabitation on the recipient's financial needs.
Impact of Remarriage on Duration and Amount of Maintenance
Remarriage can also impact the duration and amount of maintenance in Illinois. In some cases, a new marriage may allow the recipient to become financially self-sufficient, and as a result, the paying spouse may request a modification of the maintenance award. The court will consider a variety of factors, including the recipient's income, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the financial needs of the recipient.
In some cases, the duration of the maintenance award may also be affected by remarriage. For example, if the recipient of maintenance remarries shortly after the divorce, the court may determine that the recipient will not need financial support for an extended period of time and may reduce the duration of the maintenance award. Conversely, if the recipient of maintenance does not remarry or enter into a new cohabitation relationship, the duration of the maintenance award may be extended to provide long-term financial support.
In conclusion, remarrying can have a significant impact on maintenance in Illinois. Maintenance terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient, and the recipient's new marriage or cohabitation relationship may also impact the amount and duration of the maintenance award. If you are paying or receiving maintenance and are considering remarriage or cohabitation, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand your rights and obligations and help you navigate the legal challenges of the divorce process. An attorney can provide guidance on how remarriage may impact maintenance and help you make the best decisions for your unique situation.
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