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Do Alimony Payments Stop if a Spouse Remarries in Illinois?

 Posted on April 25, 2024 in Alimony

Wheaton, IL alimony lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced in Illinois, one of the parties often must pay spousal support, or alimony, to the other. The amount of alimony payments and their duration are based on several factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage

  • The income of each spouse

  • Which spouse has child custody

Sometimes a spouse is ordered to pay alimony indefinitely, and sometimes he or she must pay spousal support for a fixed amount of time. In either case, spousal support can be terminated in certain circumstances, such as remarriage. 

This article will discuss when remarriage affects alimony, though any questions about spousal support should be directed to a qualified Illinois attorney.

What Happens if the Payor Gets Remarried?

The spouse who pays the alimony is called the payor, and the spouse receiving the alimony is called the payee. If the payor gets remarried, he or she must continue making spousal support payments. 

What Happens if the Payee Gets Remarried?

By contrast, if the payee gets remarried, the payor no longer has to pay spousal support. This is because marriage is what Illinois law calls a “supportive relationship,” meaning that the payee should be receiving financial support from his or her new spouse. As long as he or she is receiving support from a new spouse, the ex-spouse does not need to provide support as well.

For this reason, the payee is required to notify the payor if he or she gets remarried.

What About a Serious Relationship?

Even if the payee does not remarry, there are circumstances in which an order to pay spousal support will be terminated. One of these circumstances is cohabitation. Cohabitation is a legal term for when an unmarried couple lives together in a marriage-like relationship, which Illinois law also considers to be a supportive relationship. If the payee cohabits with someone, the payor is no longer obligated to pay alimony.

However, unlike remarriage, the payor will need to prove his or her ex-spouse’s cohabitation to a court. It is not always easy to prove that someone is cohabiting with someone else, however. The judge will therefore look for certain signs of cohabitation, such as:

  • If both names are on the residential lease

  • If both names are on utility bills

  • If both people share joint bank accounts

  • The amount of time both people spend together

  • The length of the relationship

  • If they share a bedroom

  • If they vacation together

  • If they spend holidays together

  • The kinds of activities they do together

If a judge finds evidence of cohabitation, the order to pay spousal support will be terminated.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Alimony Attorney

Modifying family maintenance payments such as alimony or child support is not a simple legal task. It should be done with the help of a skilled and experienced DuPage County, Illinois alimony lawyer. At Fawell & Fawell, we have over 40 years of experience in family law and aggressively defend our clients’ interests. Call 630-871-2400 for a free consultation today.

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