When Does Spousal Support End?

IL divorce lawyerFormerly referred to as alimony, spousal support is intended to provide a spouse with lower income or lower income potential with financial support after a divorce. Prior to awarding spousal support to a spouse, the court considers several factors including the age of each spouse, the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, the assets and income of each spouse, sacrifices a spouse made to support the other spouse’s career or education, and the present and future earning capacity of each spouse.

While most people understand the basics of spousal support, many wonder when it ends. Read on to find the answer to this question.

Events That May End Spousal Support

There are a number of events that end spousal support. According to Illinois law, a spouse’s obligation to pay spousal support ends when any of the following events occur:

  • The receiving spouse gets remarried;
  • The receiving spouse cohabitates with another individual on a continuing, conjugal basis;
  • One spouse passes away; or
  • A voluntary agreement.

Since spousal support may only be awarded for a set number of years that both spouses and the courts decide on, it will end once this set time frame has ended. If a spousal support agreement is only for 10 years, a spouse cannot expect to continue receiving spousal support any time after the 10-year mark.

Moving in with a New Partner

In the event the spouse who is receiving maintenance moves in with a new romantic partner, cohabitation exists. If the court finds the cohabitation occurred on a “continuing, conjugal basis,” spousal support will come to an end. To determine if there was a conjugal relationship, a judge will look at factors such as:

  • The relationship’s length;
  • Whether the couple shared a home, bank accounts, meals, etc.;
  • Whether the couple went on vacation together, spent special occasions together or exchanged gifts; and
  • Other factors the court considers fair.

How to Prove a Continuing, Conjugal Relationship

There are several types of evidence that the court can use to prove a continuing, conjugal relationship. This evidence may include witness testimony, bank account records, utility records, social media profiles, phone records, photos, and emails. Evidence collected by a private investigator may be used as well.

Consult an Experienced DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce and have questions related to spousal support, reach out to our DuPage County family lawyers. We can make sure you understand how spousal support works and protect your rights. Call us at 630-920-8855 today.



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