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How Does Remarriage Affect Spousal Support in Illinois?

Illinois family law courts have the authority to award spousal support (also known as spousal maintenance or alimony) to a financially-dependent spouse who — following a divorce — lacks the income and/or financial prospects to be self-sufficient. In practice, spousal support awards vary based on many different factors. The amount and duration will depend on the unique circumstances of the case. Under current Illinois law, the court is to make a finding as to whether the maintenance is for a fixed term, indefinite, reviewable, or reserved for future consideration.

While spousal support may be granted on an ongoing basis, a substantial change in the circumstances can also justify the modification of the original award. One of the most common reasons why spousal support payments are modified is remarriage or cohabitation. Here, our top-rated Aurora, IL spousal maintenance attorneys provide an overview of how a remarriage will affect alimony payments in Illinois.

What Happens When the Receiving Spouse Gets Remarried?

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/101), spousal support obligations are automatically terminated the moment that the receiving spouse gets remarried. From the date of the new marriage, no more alimony payments are owed. In addition, the spouse who is paying alimony is not required to get permission from the court to officially terminate ongoing support. It happens immediately, without additional legal action. Further, the receiving spouse has a duty to report their remarriage to their former partner in a timely manner. Illinois statute provides that there is to be a thirty (30) day notice of intent to remarry unless the decision to remarry occurs within thirty (30) days of remarriage; then there is a seventy-two (72) hour notice obligation from date of remarriage.

What Happens When the Paying Spouse Gets Remarried?

If you owe spousal support in Illinois, and you get remarried, you are still required to continue making alimony payments. Your new marriage does not give you the right to terminate your alimony obligations. However, certain other factors such as a change in employment, impairment of current or future earning capacity of either party, increase in income, and many other factors that a court may consider in a determination to increase, decrease or terminate maintenance, could warrant a modification.

Reimbursement May Be Available for an Unreported Marriage

If the receiving spouse gets remarried or begins to cohabitate in a “resident, continuing, conjugal-basis” and they fail to disclose their new marriage in a timely manner, or if they actively work to conceal their marriage, they do not have a right to keep cashing spousal support checks from their former partner. If the paying spouse kept paying alimony because they were unaware of their former partner’s remarriage, then full reimbursement for any overpayment may be available.

Get Help from Our Illinois Divorce & Family Law Attorneys Today

At Keller Legal Services, our family lawyers have extensive experience handling matters involving spousal support and remarriage. To find out more about what our legal team can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact us at 630-868-3093 (Wheaton office) or at 630-859-2801 (Aurora office), or 630-505-1515 for our Naperville office. We always offer fully personalized legal guidance to our clients.