Does “Permanent” Alimony End if My Ex Gets Remarried in Kane County, IL?

Posted on in Divorce

st. charles divorce lawyerWhen a couple in Illinois gets divorced, alimony - technically known as “spousal maintenance” - is sometimes negotiated or awarded if a court deems it appropriate. For couples who have been married for a long time, spousal maintenance is more common. Spousal maintenance may be awarded permanently or indefinitely if a divorcing couple was married 20 years or longer. However, this does not mean that the spousal maintenance will actually need to be paid forever; certain actions on the part of the recipient can terminate payments. If you are paying alimony in Illinois and you know your ex is engaging in behaviors that would permit you to stop making payments, read on. 

Why is Permanent Alimony Ordered By a Court? 

Although it is less common now, traditional marriages of the past often consisted of a spouse who earned all or most of a family’s money and a spouse who cared for the children and the home. After several decades of such an arrangement, the non-working spouse will often struggle to find sufficient employment or education to support themselves after a divorce. Although paying alimony forever may feel unfair to the person making payments, Illinois courts see this as necessary for ensuring the spouse who gave up their career and educational advancements to support a marriage is not left penniless because that marriage ended. 

When Can Permanent or Indefinite Alimony Be Terminated? 

Even when alimony has been ordered permanently, certain situations can cause it to end. The first of these is remarriage. If a former spouse gets remarried, the spouse making payments can terminate them without permission from a court as soon as the marriage is official. 

But a spouse living with a new partner is also grounds for spousal maintenance termination. This can be something of a gray area because it is not always clear what constitutes “living together” and, unfortunately, some people will try to hide behavior that would be considered cohabitation so they can continue receiving spousal maintenance. To show your spouse is cohabitating, you need to go to court and file a motion to terminate support. You will be responsible for proving your spouse is cohabitating, which may require the help of a professional such as a private investigator. 

Even if you are sure your ex is cohabitating with their partner, you cannot terminate payments without approval from a court. However, if a court finds that your ex has been cohabitating from a certain date in the past, you may be able to have the amount of maintenance you have paid reimbursed. 

Meet with a St. Charles, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we can help you determine whether your ex is engaging in conduct that merits the termination of alimony payments. Do not pay longer than you need to - get help from a Kane County alimony attorney with experience successfully modifying or terminating spousal support orders. Call us today at 630-584-5550 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 



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