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When Can You Reduce or Terminate Spousal Maintenance?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

When Can You Reduce or Terminate Spousal Maintenance?Spousal maintenance payments are reviewable and modifiable after a divorce unless you expressly say in the agreement that they are nonmodifiable. As the payer, there may come a point when you need to reduce the maintenance payments or terminate them. When are you allowed to modify and when can you eliminate your payments? How would you make this change? Some maintenance agreements have a designated review date, during which the court can decide whether to extend or adjust payments. You can also file a petition for modification of spousal maintenance, in which you must prove that a change in circumstances allows you to reduce or terminate your maintenance payments.

When Can You Reduce Payments?

Modifications to spousal maintenance most often occur because of a change in income for one of the parties. For instance, you may have lost your job or your pay may have been significantly reduced. While you still have some income, you can no longer afford the same maintenance payments while also paying for your living expenses. Another example is if your former spouse gets a new job that increases their income. It is no longer necessary for them to receive the same amount of maintenance because their ability to support themselves has increased. The court will decide whether to grant your modification request based on what it deems to be appropriate for your situation.

When Can You Terminate Payments?

You may be able to stop your spousal maintenance payments altogether if one of the following circumstances applies to your case:

  • Your former spouse has remarried.
  • Your former spouse is cohabiting with someone in a marriage-like relationship.
  • The court determines that your former spouse has become self-supporting.
  • Your former spouse has not made a good-faith effort to become self-supporting if the agreement required it.
  • Your maintenance payments are set to expire on a certain date.

It should be simple to end maintenance payments because of remarriage. Your former spouse is required to inform you of their marriage, and your support obligation ends the day they are married. To prove cohabitation, you need to present evidence on their living situation, activity with their partner, and whether they are sharing living expenses.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer

In most situations, it is up to you to request a modification of your spousal maintenance agreement if you want to reduce your payments. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can determine whether you may have an argument to modify your maintenance agreement. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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