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Reasons For Spousal Maintenance Modifications in Illinois

 Posted on January 04, 2024 in Spousal Maintenance

DuPage County divorce attorneyEither through spouses’ own terms or a court order, spousal maintenance is a very real possibility after a divorce. However, sometimes, things happen that can change the need for maintenance, and modifications or termination may be required. The legalities of maintenance can be complex and overwhelming. An experienced attorney can answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding maintenance payments.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Often referred to as alimony, spousal maintenance is support payments that one spouse provides to the other following a divorce. The spouse ordered to pay will usually be the one who is better off financially, while the recipient may not be well off enough to maintain their standard of living as if they were still married.

The Illinois court determines maintenance eligibility and, if awarded, is legally binding and enforceable by law. In most cases, the duration for maintenance is finite and will end once the court-ordered obligation has been achieved.

Maintenance Modification and Termination

Maintenance termination will require a statutory event that closes out the payment obligations. These events include:

  • Death of either party member
  • The maintenance recipient remarries
  • The maintenance recipient lives with another person (romantic partner) on a continuous basis (cohabitation)

Court-ordered maintenance modifications will require a substantial change in circumstances. However, the modifications are not automatic just because you meet this criteria. A motion to modify spousal maintenance is needed before any changes occur.

The court clerk will schedule a modification hearing. When it commences, the court will hear arguments from both parties regarding the changes. The court must then weigh many factors before coming to a decision. Factors can include:

  • A good faith employment change: either a new job with an increase in income to increase spousal maintenance or the loss of a job that can see maintenance payments reduced so long as it was not intentional
  • The maintenance recipient has not made proper efforts to become self-supporting, which will require proof on the obligor’s end
  • A disability or impairment that affects either the current or future earning potential of either obligor or recipient
  • Current status of property awarded in the divorce that saw adjustments to the maintenance payment amounts

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney

Remember that maintenance payments cannot be increased or reduced without first filing a motion to modify spousal maintenance. A knowledgeable Naperville, IL maintenance lawyer can help you file the motion. They can also offer advice on how to get your spousal payments increased or reduced and assist in any other post-divorce decrees. Contact Calabrese Associates, P.C. for a reasonably-priced consultation at 630-393-3111 today.

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