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When Can I Modify or Terminate Spousal Support Payments in Illinois?

 Posted on December 29,2020 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In Illinois, spousal support or maintenance is not a guaranteed part of all divorce orders; rather, it is generally only ordered if one spouse has a financial need and there is an imbalance in income and assets between the two parties. As a result, it can often be a contentious part of the divorce process, as the two parties may have different ideas as to whether a spousal support order is justified. This contention may continue even after the divorce is finalized as both parties’ circumstances change. If you have been ordered to pay spousal support and you believe that you should no longer have to do so, you may have legal options to pursue the modification or termination of the spousal support order.

Reasons to Modify a Spousal Maintenance Order

You should know that it is usually not possible to stop paying spousal support simply because you are angry or upset with your ex-spouse. Rather, you will need to demonstrate to the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that justifies a reduction to your obligation. Possible reasons for a modification include:

  • The involuntary loss of your job

  • A significant reduction to your regular income

  • A decrease in your earning capacity, perhaps due to an injury, disability, or health condition

  • An increase in the income or earning capacity of your ex-spouse

If the court finds that you have sufficient reasoning, they will reconsider the maintenance order and adjust it as they see fit. In some cases, they may terminate the order entirely if paying support causes you undue hardship or if your ex no longer has a need. You can also petition for the termination of the support order if your ex gets remarried or starts living with a new partner.

One thing to keep in mind as you pursue a modification is that you are still obligated to make support payments until the modification is approved by the court. A missed payment can harm your chances of success and may result in other legal consequences as well. If the modification is granted, you may be reimbursed for any payments you have made that are unnecessary based on the terms of the new agreement.

Contact a St. Charles Spousal Support Attorney 

If you need legal advice or representation regarding a modification to your Illinois spousal support order, the distinguished Kane County divorce attorneys at Weiler & Associates, Inc. can help. We will work to ensure that your needs and interests are considered and that you are not bound by an order that is unfair to you. Contact us today at 630-331-9110 to arrange a private consultation and learn more about our services and how we can help you.


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