Alimony Modification in Illinois

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, alimony reform lawsAs more women tend to work outside the home and lead independent lives outside of their husbands, the issue and necessity of alimony — or spousal support — has come into question in recent years. Many states have recently passed alimony reform laws; some abolish the practice of lifetime alimony payments, others make it more difficult for ex-spouses to prove the need for financial support. In Illinois, for example, ended lifetime alimony and passed legislation that ends alimony payments when the ex-spouse receiving alimony begins to cohabitate with a new partner. Other states, Massachusetts for example, caps the number of years or months during which alimony should be paid based on the duration of the marriage. According to Forbes, this is dangerous water to tread for many women facing divorce.

The good news is that the final alimony decree is never final—it can be modified or changed in court if need be. A “substantial change in circumstances” can warrant alimony modification. There is no one specific definition of what this change must be to warrant modification; this is left to the discretion of the judge. One such example would be if the spouse receiving alimony remarries to a person wealthier than the ex-spouse. In Illinois, (unless the newlyweds were not living together) remarriage would result in termination of the alimony order anyway.

Another instance in which alimony could be modified or terminated is if the financial situation of the spouse paying alimony significantly changes. If an ex-husband, for example, loses his job or resigns his job as a stockbroker to pursue a life as a teacher, thus incurring a significant decrease in salary, he could likely qualify to have the alimony order modified.

If you or someone you know has questions about alimony modification, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact a dedicated Aurora family law attorney today.

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