Changing a Spousal Maintenance Order
Are you struggling to make your monthly spousal maintenance payments? If you are like many people in today’s economic landscape, the answer may be yes. However, you understand the importance of complying with a judicial order and, despite the difficulty, you continue to find ways to uphold your end of the agreement. While such dedication is certainly admirable, you may have other options available to you, including a modification of your maintenance order. In certain situations, a modification can ease the unnecessary strain on your life and help you get back on your feet.
Change in Circumstances
Whether it was ten years ago or ten months ago, when your spousal support order was developed, it took into account your current financial state and the circumstances of your marriage. Of course, things certainly change over time and, unfortunately, not always for the better. For example, your maintenance payments were probably calculated based on your income at the time of the order. Due to the nature of the job market, your health, or a number of other factors, your current income may be drastically lower. Alternatively, your income may have remained virtually the same but increases in the cost of living or other necessary expenses may be complicating your situation.
Likewise, your ex-spouse’s needs may have also changed. The original order may have been designed to help your ex-spouse regain financial independence after the divorce. If he or she has successfully done so, or has remarried, for example, a modification may be completely appropriate and necessary.
Beginning in 2015, Illinois law was amended to provide a standardized method of calculation for spousal maintenance orders. The formula is based on weighted percentages of both parties’ income, and may be altered upon consideration of circumstantial factors. By petitioning the court for modification, your order can be reconsidered under the current guidelines, and your changes in circumstance can be taken into account. The resulting order is likely to be more appropriate and realistic given the nature of your situation.
If you are subject to a spousal maintenance order and struggling to remain in compliance with its terms, contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney today. We will work with you to help you understand your options, answer your questions, and assist you in making the best decisions for your future. Call now to schedule an appointment.