call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in remarriage

Kane County divorce lawyerFollowing a divorce in Illinois, the party in a better financial position may be required to make ongoing payments to their former partner. Known as alimony, spousal support, or spousal maintenance, the exact structure of these payments will depend on many different factors, with some ending after a specified time and others lasting indefinitely.

This raises an important question: Does remarriage affect alimony? The short answer is that the recipient’s remarriage is grounds to end alimony, whereas the paying spouse’s remarriage does not have a direct impact on their financial obligations. Here, our divorce attorneys highlight the key things you should know about spousal support and remarriage in Illinois.

The Recipient’s Remarriage Terminates Alimony Obligations

Illinois law is clear: If the spouse who is receiving alimony gets remarried, payments will automatically stop. According to state statute, “an obligor's obligation to pay maintenance or unallocated maintenance terminates by operation of law on the date the obligee remarries.” In other words, the spouse paying alimony does not have to get a court order to stop the payments. However, if the spouse paying alimony gets remarried, they cannot stop making payments, as their remarriage or new relationship is not grounds to terminate their alimony obligations.

Posted on in Child Support

What Happens to Child Support After Remarriage?Getting remarried is an exciting event because it signifies a resolution to your divorce in many ways. You have proven that you can find a new relationship. If you were receiving spousal maintenance, you can break that financial tie to your former spouse. However, your obligation to provide child support will remain, regardless of whether either of you gets remarried. There are limited circumstances in which the child support payments can be modified after one parent gets remarried.

Principles of Child Support

Divorced parents pay child support because they share a financial obligation to care for their children. That obligation will always remain with the two legal parents of the children and not with any new spouses. Your new spouse cannot become the legal parent of your children unless your co-parent relinquishes his or her parental rights and your new spouse adopts your children. Thus, courts have traditionally not considered the income of a new spouse when determining child support payments. However, an Illinois court ruling in 2014 broke with that tradition when it found that:

  • A parent’s financial resources can help determine his or her appropriate child support obligation; and
  • The income of the mother’s new husband counted as an increase in her financial resources.

Courts will not directly include your new spouse’s income when calculating your child support obligation. Instead, it will reasonably consider whether your current share of child support is fair if your new spouse’s income decreases the percentage of your income that you use for other expenses.

Avoiding Mistakes When Determining Spousal MaintenanceThough spousal maintenance is not a requirement in a divorce agreement, one party will likely pay it if the other spouse was financially dependent during the marriage. Spouses can either reach their own spousal maintenance agreement or allow the divorce court to set the terms of the maintenance payments. If you are the spouse who is likely to pay maintenance, it may be more advantageous for you to negotiate your own terms. However, it is important to understand your options and their consequences when creating the agreement. A poor choice can put you at a long-term financial disadvantage:

  1. Short-Term Payments Can Be Costlier: A spousal maintenance obligation is often spread out into monthly payments made for several years. Alternatively, the obligated spouse can make a few high-level payments or one lump-sum payment. The one-time payment may seem attractive to you because it may be less money than the total you would pay with a long-term plan. There is also the satisfaction of severing your financial ties with your former spouse. However, large payments work only if you have the money or assets to spare. You also risk overpaying for maintenance if your former spouse remarries in the near future. If you have a long-term payment plan, the payments will end upon your spouse's remarriage.
  2. Your Former Spouse Does Not Need to Remarry to End the Maintenance Agreement: Entering a new marriage is a clear example of when a dependent former spouse no longer needs spousal maintenance payments because he or she now has a new financial provider. However, cohabitation without marriage can provide financial support to a dependent former spouse. Your spousal maintenance payments should not be supporting your former spouse’s new roommate or romantic interest. To prevent this from happening, you can include a section in your maintenance agreement that allows you to terminate or alter the payments if your former spouse begins living with another adult.
  3. Spending or Hiding Assets Does Not Prevent Maintenance: Some divorcees mistakenly believe that they can reduce or eliminate their spousal maintenance payments by spending their savings or hiding their individual assets. Your income will largely determine what you owe in maintenance. Excessive expenditures will deplete the overall assets you can use to pay the maintenance, not the payments themselves. The court can penalize you if it catches you attempting to deceive your spouse by hiding your assets or income.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance

There are several factors that can determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance, including how long you were married and your former spouse’s efforts to become self-supporting. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you negotiate a fair spousal maintenance agreement. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

Posted on in Premarital Agreement

Learning from Divorce Before RemarryingAfter finishing your divorce, you likely feel that you never want to go through that experience again. Divorce is naturally cumbersome, uncomfortable and depressing. However, many divorcees have not given up on the institution of marriage if they meet the right person. You may feel more cautious about getting married, which is actually a smart approach. Something went wrong in your first marriage, and you want to avoid making the same mistakes. Your divorce should serve as a lesson if you plan to remarry.

Be Patient

The reasons for your failed marriage should give you a better idea of the qualities you are looking for in a partner and what you want to avoid. With this profile in mind, you may feel emboldened to enter a serious relationship with the first person who checks all of those boxes. However, your first marriage taught you that it takes time to learn someone’s true nature. You likely felt that your first spouse was a perfect match before you married. Be more patient in getting to know your partner in a new relationship before entering a commitment.

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce attorneyFor many engaged women, the decision to change their name to their husband's or not after marriage is fairly easy to make. Most women know long before they get engaged, even before they meet the men they eventually marry, whether they want to change their name or not because for many, the decision is primarily about her attachment to her own name. When a woman who changed her name gets divorced, she has a new decision to make: to change her name again or not. For some, changing their name back to their family name is an empowering way to strip themselves of the marriage and all its problems whereas for others, the name is no longer just their husband's, but their own and keeping it has nothing to do with holding onto him or the marriage. If you are not sure about whether you want to change your name after your divorce, consider the following:

Your Professional Identity

For many women, the decision to change one's name or not at marriage and at divorce hinges on how her professional identity is tied to the name. If you are well known by a specific name in your field, it might not be in your best interest to change it.

Back to Top