Spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony, is a common part of an Illinois divorce settlement. An order for spousal support is issued in the event that one party is not able to support themselves otherwise and had been dependent on the other party throughout the course of a marriage.
Spousal support awards can be issued for various amounts, can be made in various ways (i.e. lump sum vs. monthly payments), and can last for various amounts of time. That being said, even awards that are considered to be permanent can be terminated if certain events occur: remarriage (or cohabitation) or death.
Will Getting Remarried Mean I Lose Spousal Support?
If you are a recipient of spousal support payments, you can count on those payments being terminated in the event that you remarry. As such, if you are in a romantic relationship and are thinking about remarrying, the fact that your spousal support will be terminated may make you reconsider.
However, do not make the mistake of thinking that remarriage is the only way that spousal support can end; cohabitation may also result in a termination too. Cohabitation means that you and another party are living together and maintaining a relationship similar to that of a husband and wife.
Proving Cohabitation and Terminating Spousal Support
If an alimony-paying spouse suspects cohabitation he or she may file a petition with the court to terminate spousal support payments. In order to determine whether or not the alimony-receiving spouse and another party are cohabitating, the court will consider factors such as:
- The length of the relationship;
- Whether or not the parties live together;
- The financial arrangement of the parties (i.e. is the couple sharing money?);
- The nature of the relationship and the activities the parties engage in;
- Whether or not the couple spends holidays and vacation time together; and
- Any other relevant information.
As a note, going on casual dates does not constitute cohabitation and is not justification for the termination of spousal maintenance. Nor is having a boyfriend or girlfriend; maintenance is terminated in accordance with the original court order or when a party remarries or is cohabitating. Further, the marriage of the party who is making alimony payments has no effect on that party’s continued obligation to pay spousal support.
Our Experienced Illinois Alimony Attorneys Can Help
At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we know that the rules surrounding spousal support can be confusing, especially as they pertain to modifying spousal maintenance awards, dating, or getting remarried after divorce. If you have questions about spousal maintenance or would like to file a petition to terminate maintenance, we can help.
For your consultation with our talented Naperville spousal support lawyers, please call our law offices today or send us a message directly. We serve Naperville, Lombard, Lisle, Downers Grove, Aurora, and Wheaton.