If you are recently divorced or are in the process of ending a marriage that has been effectively dead for years, it is completely normal to experience feelings of loneliness and a need for companionship. A new relationship is exciting and, for someone coming out of a bad marriage, finding a new partner can be extremely cathartic. If, however, your spouse is paying you alimony—formally known as “maintenance” in Illinois law—or you are asking for maintenance in your divorce, you need to understand how a new partner could potentially affect your payments.
The Need for Spousal Support
According to the law in Illinois, maintenance is never presumed to be necessary in a divorce. Instead, it may be awarded by the court if the court determines that such payments are necessary and appropriate for the given situation. The general idea is to help a financially-disadvantaged spouse regain his or independence, if possible. In cases where independence is not possible due to age, health, or other factors, maintenance may be awarded to help a spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living.
When the Recipient Remarries
While most orders for maintenance are intended to last for a fixed amount of time, based on the duration of the marriage, an order will also be terminated if the recipient party gets remarried. This is understandable, considering that a remarriage creates a new household situation for that spouse—one to which the original paying spouse should not be required to support financially....