Spousal maintenance – also known as alimony – is prone to changes over time in the state of Illinois. There are many reasons why the court might change the conditions of your alimony payments, but there always has to be a reason.
How is spousal maintenance determined?
Spousal maintenance is typically awarded to the person whose financial situation has changed for the worst as a consequence of the divorce. The amount that someone will have to pay their ex in alimony is determined by each person’s income, expenses, and ability to make money after the divorce.
For example, a stay-at-home spouse has no income streams of their own and might have been out of the workforce for a long time. So, the court would probably award them some form of alimony.
However, the court also looks at the duration of the marriage, the cause of divorce, and other factors. A stay-at-home spouse who cheated on their partner might not be awarded as much in alimony, and often they won’t have to pay alimony for longer than their marriage lasted.
When is spousal maintenance changed?
One or both parties can petition the court to change the amount of financial support that has been awarded. There are a couple of reasons that one would petition the court:
• Change in income
• Change in health
• Change in relationship status
If the person paying alimony loses their job at any point while paying alimony, they can petition the court to pay their ex less. Similarly, if the spouse receiving alimony has a health crisis that doesn’t allow them to work as much, they might ask for a temporary increase in alimony payments.
How are spousal maintenance modifications decided?
The court will generally look at the same factors that were used to make the initial decision. If the court determines that any of these factors have changed dramatically, they may adjust the alimony support.
However, these decisions are not taken lightly. It will usually fall on the party requesting the modification to provide evidence in support of their favored outcome.