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Could My Ex’s Cohabitation Arrangement End Alimony Payments?

 Posted on July 05, 2024 in Spousal Maintenance

Blog ImageMost states today specifically prohibit awards of permanent alimony. Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia still allow permanent alimony, while other states specifically prohibit permanent alimony. In the state of Texas, it is difficult to get any type of alimony unless specified in a pre or postnuptial agreement. Illinois has what is essentially permanent alimony but is more often called "indefinite" or "lifetime" alimony. There are certain circumstances when lifetime alimony can be terminated.

If you are wondering whether you are entitled to alimony or whether you will have to pay alimony, the best source of information is your Kane County divorce attorney from The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates. While you can speculate, ask your friends, or hope for the best, your attorney has solid experience and knowledge that will give you a very good idea of whether alimony will be awarded in your situation and what it will look like.

Can Indefinite Alimony End if the Receiving Spouse is Cohabitating?

Even when permanent alimony is awarded, there are certain circumstances under which the payments can be stopped. A receiving spouse may decide to never remarry solely to continue receiving alimony. There are provisions under Illinois law that allow alimony to be stopped when the receiving spouse is living with a partner. If the receiving spouse "cohabits with another person on a resident, continuing conjugal basis" in a romantic way, the paying spouse may petition to have the alimony discontinued.

To rise to the level of cohabitation, the parties must provide one another with mutual levels of support, though not necessarily on a daily basis. The person paying alimony must prove the following to have permanent alimony discontinued:

  • Whether the couple engages in sexual relations
  • How long the cohabitation relationship has lasted
  • Whether the couple takes vacations together
  • Whether there are shared bank accounts
  • How often each party stays over at the other’s house if they are not actively living together
  • Whether the couple lives together, jointly owns the home where they live, or whether both contribute to the mortgage and living expenses
  • Whether the couple holds themselves out as a married couple
  • Whether the couple has children together

The court will not consider a single factor when determining whether a couple is cohabitating; rather, it will look at the situation as a whole. Other situations that can end permanent alimony in Illinois include the marriage of the receiving spouse, the death of the paying spouse, or the death of the receiving spouse. A decedent’s estate is not obligated to continue paying alimony.

Can the Paying Spouse Ask for an Alimony Modification?

Barring death, remarriage of the receiving spouse, or cohabitation of the receiving spouse, the paying spouse can only obtain a modification of permanent alimony under very limited circumstances. If the tax burden of alimony becomes untenable for either spouse, either spouse suffers a health crisis or disability, the employment status of either spouse changes, there is a significant decrease in the paying spouse’s income, or there is a total lack of effort on the part of the receiving spouse to become self-supporting an alimony modification may be approved.

Contact a Kane County, IL Alimony Lawyer

Regardless of which side of the alimony question you are on, it is important that you have a skilled divorce lawyer who can ensure your rights are fully protected from beginning to end. If you are entitled to alimony, a knowledgeable Geneva, IL alimony attorney from The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates will fight for what you need and deserve. If you are being asked to pay alimony and do not believe your spouse deserves it, we will present some alternatives that might be acceptable to your spouse. Contact The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates at 630-232-9700 today to talk to an experienced attorney about your alimony issue.

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