How Can Remarriage Affect Alimony in Illinois?


Alimony is sometimes referred to as spousal support. So it stands to reason that if your former spouse gets married, your obligations to pay spousal support should stop or at least be modified. Before you make any deviation from your current alimony agreement, you should talk to a Tazewell County alimony lawyer who can help you understand the law, how remarriage impacts alimony, and what your responsibilities will be.

Does remarriage signify the termination of an alimony agreement?

The simple answer is yes. In most cases, your obligation to pay alimony ends as soon as your former spouse has remarried. In the eyes of Illinois law, they are now being supported by a new spouse and your responsibilities have ended.

You may stop making payments as soon as your former spouse is remarried. There is no need to go to court or file some kind of motion to end the alimony agreement.

Your former spouse has to tell you about their remarriage at least 30 days before it occurs. Failing that, you need to be notified before 72 hours have elapsed since the remarriage. Any alimony payments you make in those three days should be reimbursed.

Does Cohabitation Affect Alimony Payments?

What if your former spouse has not remarried, but they are cohabitating with a long-time partner? Do you still need to make alimony payments?

You may be able to modify your alimony agreement if your former wife or husband is now living with someone else. You would have to file a motion to prove that they are cohabitating and engaged in a relationship much like a marriage. The court can look at a variety of factors to determine whether or not your alimony agreement should be modified, including:

  • How much time a couple spends together
  • How long the relationship has lasted
  • If they have bought property together or otherwise intertwined their personal affairs

If it is determined that your spouse is cohabitating, your obligation to pay alimony ends on the day that cohabitation began. This means that you could be reimbursed for past payments if the cohabitation has been occurring for a while.

Do I Have to Still Pay Alimony if I Remarry?

If you are the one paying alimony and you remarry, your obligation to pay alimony to your former spouse does not end. However, you can petition the court to rethink your alimony arrangement. The court can look at factors like:

  • Your obligation to support a new family
  • Whether or not you have children with your former spouse
  • Your former spouse’s ability to support themselves

In some cases, an alimony agreement could end or be modified after the person paying the alimony remarries, but there is no guarantee.

Consult With an Alimony Attorney

If you have questions about your alimony arrangement and how a change in circumstance could affect your responsibilities, contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. We can help you ensure that your alimony agreement remains fair.

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