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When Do Alimony Payments End in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

chicago divorce lawyerRegardless of whether a spouse is paying or receiving alimony (technically known as “spousal maintenance” in Illinois), each party will want to know when, and under what circumstances, alimony payments might end. While more women in the workforce and greater equity between spouses means alimony is awarded less often today than it has been in the past, alimony can still be a crucial support or a major financial burden, depending on your perspective. Both men and women can be recipients of spousal maintenance if the circumstances merit it.

Illinois has laws specifically addressing when alimony can be changed or terminated; read this blog for a brief overview of these circumstances and then contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney for help with your case. 

When Can Alimony Be Modified? 

As the name suggests, spousal maintenance is intended to help one spouse get on his or her feet financially once a marriage has ended. Depending on the original divorce decree and each spouse’s circumstances, including whether there are still very young children at home preventing the receiving spouse from getting back into the workforce or obtaining an education, spousal maintenance might be:


chicago child support lawyerWhile Illinois parents who have gotten divorced are usually relieved to be rid of each other in their day-to-day lives, the conflict and differences of opinion that existed in the marriage can be resurrected over and over again when minor children are involved. Child support is frequently a cause of disagreement between divorced or never-married parents, and one of the most common concerns we hear is that the parent paying child support believes the other parent is using the money for him or herself rather than the child. If you are in this situation, this blog may be helpful to you. 

Can My Ex Spend Child Support However They Want? 

Although it may frustrate the paying parent to no end, Illinois law has no specific limitations regarding how child support may be used. As long as the child’s needs are being met, the receiving parent can spend child support freely on clothes, vacations, or outings with friends on the weekend. 

But when a child is being neglected or abused because of a parent’s frivolous or selfish spending habits, that is illegal. Both parents are responsible for making sure a child has the clothes, food, medical care, and school supplies that they need. If your child is regularly coming to see you during parenting time and he does not have clean clothes in good repair, is malnourished, or has not been treated for urgent medical conditions, you may rightfully be alarmed. 


chicago divorce lawyerOften, the first thing that comes to a parent’s mind when faced with the prospect of an Illinois divorce is what the custody arrangements will look like. Unfortunately, child custody tends to be one of the most contentious aspects of divorce, making it difficult to achieve a parenting plan that everyone can feel good about. In this blog, we want to answer some common questions about how the custody process works in Illinois. Keep in mind that this is not legal advice and that the best place to get your questions answered is in a consultation with an Illinois divorce attorney. 

Does a Mother Automatically Get Custody in Illinois? 

The first thing to understand about child custody in Illinois is that it is divided into two areas: Parental responsibilities, which is the authority to make important decisions on behalf of a child, and parenting time, which is the right to spend time with a child. Neither parent has an automatic right to all parental responsibilities and parenting time; instead, every case begins with the presumption that a child benefits most when both parents are involved in her life. Based on the parents’ preferences, schedules, and the best interests of the child, adjustments are made so a parenting plan can be created. 

Do Illinois Courts Decide Custody Cases? 

The vast majority of Illinois divorces are settled outside of court. If a couple cannot create a satisfactory negotiation on all issues in divorce (not just child custody, but property division, alimony, and child support as well), a judge may order the couple to seek mediation. If mediation fails, a court can help decide any issues that were not resolved by a couple. 


chicago divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to end their marriage, it is not so easy as simply agreeing to get divorced. Depending on the circumstances, a divorce can be quite a complicated and difficult process and the right steps will depend on your preferred strategy and goals. However, the general process of most divorces is fairly similar and follows a necessary set of steps. If you are interested in starting the divorce process or have more questions about how divorce works in Illinois, schedule a meeting with a Chicago divorce attorney right away. 

Should We File for Divorce in Illinois? 

The first step when filing for divorce is determining whether you meet the residency requirements for filing in a particular place. In Illinois, you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days unless you have minor children involved in the divorce, in which case the residency requirement is extended to 180 days. You and your spouse do not both have to have residency in Illinois to file for divorce; only one spouse needs to be in the state. 

Do We Need To Have Grounds For Divorce? 

No. In Illinois, the only grounds necessary and acceptable for divorce are “irreconcilable differences.” If both of you agree to get divorced, the process can proceed right away. If one spouse does not want to get divorced, you will need to live “separate and apart” (but not necessarily in separate households) before the process can move forward. 



While nobody gets married expecting to get divorced one day, the statistics speak for themselves. Nearly 1 in 2 Illinois couples who get married can expect to eventually get divorced. Finding good information about divorce is not easy, especially if you are in a “non-traditional” marriage. Perhaps you worry about being judged by an attorney, or have questions about whether the divorce process is the same for you as it is for other couples. If you have questions about LGBTQ divorce in Illinois, check this blog for answers to common questions and then speak with a compassionate LGBTQ divorce attorney

Is it Legal for Gay Couples to Get Divorced in Illinois? 

Yes. Illinois divorce laws apply equally to everyone. Homosexual couples can divorce as long as they: 

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