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In an Illinois divorce, one spouse may seek spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is intended to help one person in the divorce become financially stable so that in the future, they are able to support themselves. In many cases, one spouse may have given up their job to stay home and care for the children, go back to school, or another endeavor that kept them from working. Although in some cases, a judge may award one spouse alimony on a permanent basis, these cases are very rare. Truthfully, there are instances in which alimony can be terminated in the state, and it is important that both the receiver and the payer know when this may occur.
When either spouse dies, spousal maintenance is terminated. Naturally, if the payer dies, they are no longer able to pay alimony, and if the receiver dies, they no longer need it.
Spousal maintenance is only intended to help one spouse get back on their feet financially after a divorce. When a recipient of alimony gets married to another person, the court will assume that there is now another income to help support the recipient. As such, a judge will usually terminate a previous alimony order at that time. The termination will likely not occur until the remarriage is final.
The recipient does not always have to make a new union official in order for alimony to be terminated. When the recipient of alimony moves in with another romantic partner, it is also assumed that another income will be coming into the household that can help support the receiver. In these instances too, terminating alimony is usually possible.
Again, spousal maintenance is only intended to help the recipient support themselves once the divorce is final. If the recipient gets a better job, receives a large inheritance, or is otherwise able to financially support themselves, a motion can be made to the court to terminate the alimony order. A termination of alimony is particularly appropriate when the recipient starts to earn more money than the person paying it.
In most cases, spousal maintenance is temporary and only intended to help the recipient become more self-sufficient. It is not meant to act as support for the remainder of the recipient’s life. Due to this, when the courts determine that the recipient is not taking any appropriate action to support themselves, the court may terminate alimony to force them to do so.
Alimony is often one of the most contentious issues of any divorce. If you think alimony will be a part of your divorce, or you need to petition the court to modify or terminate the order, our skilled Hinsdale family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation and to learn more about how we can help.