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Naperville divorce attorney spousal support

There are dozens of things that you and your spouse will have to agree upon before you can finalize your divorce agreement. Some of the most contentious issues throughout many divorces are those dealing with two notorious topics -- finances and children. Things such as property division and child custody have the potential to turn a mildly agreeable divorce into one that is fueled by strong emotions, rather than reason. Even after you have come to a consensus, nothing is set in stone. Under certain circumstances, you may need to petition the court to modify your divorce agreement. One of the most common reasons for doing this is a remarriage by either spouse.

Remarriage and Child Custody

When it comes to child custody issues, such as parenting time and parental responsibilities, the remarriage of either parent can create the potential need to change the parenting time order or child support order. In nearly all cases, the child support order will likely never be terminated, but there is a possibility that the monthly amount could change. In Illinois, all child-related decisions are made using the child’s best interests. This means in a remarriage scenario, the actions taken are very situational depending on the family’s circumstances.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney spousal maintenance

One of the most stressful and frustrating aspects of divorcing your spouse is the financial aspect of the situation. For some couples, the money side of the divorce may not be of much concern, but for most couples, getting a divorce puts a real financial strain on both parties. According to Bankrate, the average cost of a divorce is around $15,000, but the final price tag could be upward of $100,000 in extremely contentious divorces. That is a hefty bill for anyone to foot, especially for those who are disabled or who have been homemakers and who have not held a career. In some situations, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, can be paid by one spouse to another to help with living expenses. However, spousal maintenance is not awarded in all divorce cases.

Determining a Need for Spousal Maintenance

In some cases, a couple may have an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that dictates the terms of spousal support. If the agreement is determined to be valid and upheld, the guidelines contained in the agreement can be used to determine spousal maintenance.

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Bolingbrook divorce attorney legal separation

When a couple is having problems with their marriage, sometimes the decision to divorce is clear-cut. However, many couples are not ready to take the irreversible action of ending the marriage, and instead, wish to spend time apart while they contemplate their next step. For these couples, or for those spouses who wish to avoid divorce because of cultural beliefs or health insurance benefits, a legal separation may be a good option. If you do choose to pursue it, you should understand exactly what legal separation entails and how it differs from a complete dissolution of the marriage according to Illinois law.

What Happens in an Illinois Legal Separation?

For you and your spouse to be considered legally separated, you must be living in separate locations, and one of you must file a Petition for Legal Separation with your county’s Circuit Court. If your separation is approved, you should consider the following legal implications:

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Will County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

When it comes to paying spousal support or maintenance (alimony), a common question is, “What happens if my ex remarries or starts living with someone else?” Do you still have to pay alimony in this situation? Under Illinois law, the remarriage of a former spouse receiving alimony automatically terminates the paying spouse’s obligations, unless the divorce settlement or judgment specifies otherwise. Even if the receiving spouse does not formally remarry, but instead starts “cohabitating” with another person, the paying spouse can still seek a court order terminating spousal maintenance. But keep in mind, unlike with remarriage, cohabitation does not automatically end alimony obligations.

Appellate Court Finds “Friends with Benefits” Relationship Not Enough to End Alimony

Indeed, just because you believe your ex is now involved in a “de facto” marriage with someone else, that may not be enough to convince a judge. Take this recent decision from the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court, In re Marriage of Blue. This case involves a couple that divorced in 2015. A marital settlement agreement between the parties required the former husband to pay the former wife $1,200 per month in alimony. The agreement followed Illinois law and specified that spousal maintenance would terminate if the former wife “cohabited with another person on a resident, continuing, or conjugal basis.”

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