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When Do Alimony Payments End in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2022 | Divorce

Regardless of whether a spouse is paying or receiving alimony (technically known as “spousal maintenance” in Illinois), each party will want to know when, and under what circumstances, alimony payments might end. While more women in the workforce and greater equity between spouses means alimony is awarded less often today than it has been in the past, alimony can still be a crucial support or a major financial burden, depending on your perspective. Both men and women can be recipients of spousal maintenance if the circumstances merit it.

Illinois has laws specifically addressing when alimony can be changed or terminated; read this blog for a brief overview of these circumstances and then contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney for help with your case.

When Can Alimony Be Modified?

As the name suggests, spousal maintenance is intended to help one spouse get on his or her feet financially once a marriage has ended. Depending on the original divorce decree and each spouse’s circumstances, including whether there are still very young children at home preventing the receiving spouse from getting back into the workforce or obtaining an education, spousal maintenance might be:

  • Temporary – during the divorce proceedings

  • Fixed-term – ordered for a specific, predetermined length

  • Reviewable – subject to periodic review by a judge

  • Permanent – indefinite payments that only end upon death or remarriage

Permanent and fixed-term alimony generally are not modified, while reviewable maintenance may be adjusted depending on each spouse’s circumstances at the time of the review. A substantial change in the income of either party may allow for a modification or termination, but the change must truly be substantial – the paying spouse getting a small raise or the receiving spouse moving to a slightly less expensive area will likely not qualify.

Three circumstances always end alimony for sure in Illinois: Death of either party and remarriage or cohabitation of the receiving party. In the event of a death, spouses do not need to petition a court to terminate alimony payments. In the event of remarriage or cohabitation, the receiving spouse is responsible for informing the paying spouse and may be required to pay back any wrongfully received alimony if notification does not happen right away.

Contact a Team of Experienced Chicago, IL Spousal Support Lawyers

Whether you are sending or receiving alimony payments, our Cook County alimony attorneys understand that you need to have as much information as possible about when it may change or be terminated. Call NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq. today at 312-442-2225 to schedule your free consultation.