If you were the primary income earner in your marital home in Illinois, then you may have no issue in helping support your ex-spouse transition to their new life in the immediate days following your divorce. Such support is typically offered through alimony or spousal maintenance.
However, many come to us here at Robert A. Chapski, Ltd. concerned about their ex-spouse’s attempts to keep them obligated to pay alimony by choosing to not remarry (even after entering into a new committed relationship). If you fear your ex-spouse has the same plan, then you likely want to whether such a strategy might actually work.
Cohabitation’s effect on alimony
The purpose of alimony is simply to help one party to a divorce perceived to be financially disadvantaged by the end of their marriage retain their pre-divorce standard of living until they can do so on their own. It is not to serve as a primary indefinite source of income. Thus, the state makes room for your alimony obligation to end should your ex-spouse choose to cohabitate with a new partner rather than marry. Indeed, per the Illinois General Assembly, the list of reasons to terminate an alimony obligation includes cohabitation. In fact, the court will even look back to when your ex-spouse commenced their cohabitating relationship and mandate that your ex-spouse reimburse you any alimony paid to them after that date.
Proof of a supportive relationship
The court may not, however, look into your ex-spouse’s relationship status on their own. The burden of proof will likely fall to you to show they are in a supportive relationship. That may go beyond showing that they simply live with their new partner, but also demonstrating that the pair intermingle their finances.
You can find more information on managing your alimony obligation throughout our site.