Divorce should ideally mark a clear split. However, most divorce cases are never clear breaks. If you share a child with your ex, you will certainly interact with them from time to time. The same is true when there is an active spousal support order.
Spousal support, or alimony as it is commonly known, is intended to help the receiving party cope with the financial downturn that is occasioned by the divorce. Ideally, spousal support is meant to give the receiving party financial footing through skill acquisition and job training and/or experience. However, like child support, spousal support can be modified based on the following circumstances:
When there is a change in either party’s income
If you lose your job or income source and, thus, a significant change in your income, you may petition the court to modify the existing spousal support. Likewise, if the receiving party experiences a significant pay rise, they may not need the same amount of help to maintain their pre-divorce living standard. For this reason, you may petition the court for a review of the current order. However, you may not intentionally quit your job to avoid paying spousal support.
Remarriage or cohabitation
Your obligation to your ex typically ends the moment they remarry or move in with a romantic partner. But you need evidence to petition spousal support modification on grounds of remarriage, and some of the evidence you need for this include:
- Social media posts like engagement and wedding photos or a change in their relationship status
- Testimony from neighbors or the landlord who believe they are a couple such as a shared rental contract or shared bank accounts
Protecting your interests
If the court directs you to pay spousal support, you typically have to obey the court order in question. If there is a change in circumstance, however, you may petition the court to review the existing order. Learning more about Illinois spousal support laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests while petitioning for a modification.