Tag Archives: remarriage

IL divorce lawyerMany people who get divorced end up remarrying, or at least finding a new partner and moving in with them. In 40 percent of marriages, at least one spouse has already been married at some point. Spouses who receive alimony need to carefully consider remarriage or new relationships, as they will likely be wiping out their future spousal support payments. In Illinois, the legal obligation of the paying spouse ends when the receiving spouse gets married or begins living permanently with a new partner. A DuPage County family law attorney can help give you more information whether you are the paying or the receiving spouse.

What Types of Spousal Support Are There?

Alimony, which is also called spousal support or maintenance, is a financial payment made from a higher earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse during the divorce process or after the marriage has been dissolved. There are many types of alimony, described below:

  • Lump Sum Alimony—One large payment, not to be repeated
  • Rehabilitative Alimony—Financial support used for vocational training or education
  • Reimbursement Alimony—Payment used to reimburse the lower-earning spouse for expenditures they made during the marriage
  • Bridge the Gap Alimony—Spousal support that is awarded during the divorce process, used to provide the lower-earning spouse the means necessary to continue living the lifestyle they grew accustomed to during the marriage
  • Permanent Alimony—Permanent maintenance payments, usually made monthly
  • Temporary Alimony—Spousal support that has a predetermined end date. Many of the previously described types of alimony are temporary.

Temporary and permanent spousal support is affected by remarriage or cohabitation. Alimony that was already paid, be it a lump sum or monthly allotments, does not need to be paid back after remarrying, except for payments made after the receiving spouse remarried or entered a cohabitation relationship.

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Il divorce lawyerChild support is awarded during divorce, or when no marriage occurred between two parents, based on the following criteria:

  • Child’s needs, including education, medical, food and clothing, and other necessities
  • Child’s financial resources
  • Each parent’s income
  • Each parent’s other financial resources
  • Child’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Number of children the couple has together

When a court makes a decision about child support, that support order is rarely set in stone. If the divorce occurred when the child was seven, there is a very small chance that the order will not be modified over the next decade as the child grows to 18, and then goes to college. Modification orders can be made every few years, or “upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances,” according to 750 ILCS 5 Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. A substantial change in circumstances may constitute any of the following examples:

  • The paying parent gets a large raise.
  • The custodial parent loses their job.
  • The paying parent gets in a major accident.
  • The child begins attending private school.
  • The child reaches an age when he or she no longer requires child care.
  • The custodial parent has access to significantly more financial resources.

Modifying Child Support

Generally, remarrying does not have any effect on child support modification—after all, it is only the financial obligation of each parent to pay for their child’s needs. However, in a few rare cases, courts have sided with the paying parent’s argument that, because of a new spouse’s finances, the custodial parent had increased access to this shared financial resource. It could be argued that a spouse who remarries may be able to tap into the finances of his or her new spouse, using these resources to pay for food, clothing, housing, insurance, and education for their child.

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DuPage County family law attorneyAs remarriage after divorce has become increasingly common, more blended families or stepfamilies have emerged. According to the United States Census Bureau, over half of all American families were divorced and remarried or recoupled in 2010, which was the last major census year. Nearly 4 million children were living in a blended family or stepfamily in 2010.

All families face their own challenges, but stepfamilies have a unique set of challenges that can be hard to overcome. Here are a few tips you can follow in order to make your experience in a blended family a good one:

1. Make Sure You Plan Accordingly

Stepfamilies do not form overnight. Ending one marriage and entering another can take months, if not years. You have plenty of time to think through logistics. Before you get remarried, you should make sure that your parenting plan from your previous marriage is sound and acknowledges that you are getting remarried. You should also make sure that if you are marrying a spouse who also has children from a previous marriage that he or she has planned as well.

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Illinois divorce lawyerIn many divorce cases, an ex-spouse is required to pay child support. If your ex-spouse owes you child support and you have remarried, you may be wondering whether your child support payments will change. The answer is that your remarriage may have an effect on the amount and duration of child support you will receive.

Child Support Calculations in Illinois

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act dictates how child support works in the state. It uses the net income of the non-custodial or parent who does not have legal custody of the child and the number of children they are responsible for to determine how much the non-custodial parent must pay in child support.

In addition, the court considers other factors such as the financial resources of the child, their education needs, the child’s standard of living before the divorce, and the needs of the custodial and non-custodial parents. Although both parents may agree on a certain amount for child support payments, their agreement must meet minimum requirements and be approved by the court.

A New Spouse’s Income and Its Affect on Child Support

In the past, a new spouse’s income did not play a role in changing child support payments because child support was viewed as the financial obligation of both parents and based on a child’s best interests. That being said, new spouses or step parents were not legally obligated to support their stepchild.

However, in more recent years, Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that a court may consider the income of a parent’s new spouse in determining a child support amount.

The case placed emphasis on both parents’ financial obligations to assist their child with college-related expenses. It brought light to the fact that all financial resources available to parents should be considered when calculating child support payments.

Today, the income of a new spouse can serve as a valid reason to alter an existing child support agreement. This is especially true if the new spouse’s income is exceptionally high because their additional income allows the parent to meet their needs and as a result have more money available to pay child support.

Contact Our DuPage County Child Support Lawyers

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illinois alimony attorney"I was married for 25 years until my husband hooked up with the younger woman and divorced me. I was granted permanent maintenance [alimony] , now he is trying to terminate that because I have been living with a boyfriend. Can he still be in such control of my life?"

"Alimony" what is now called Illinois spousal maintenance can be granted to a divorced spouse in amounts and for periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, for a fixed or indefinite periods of time, after consideration of all relevant factors (750 I LCS 5/510). This grant of authority gives an Illinois divorce judge broad power to grant "rehabilitative maintenance," or "permanent maintenance."

Rehabilitative Maintenance

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