It is not uncommon for one spouse to receive spousal maintenance in divorce, especially when that spouse depended on the other spouse for income during the marriage and would struggle to support themselves financially. Either the spouses agree on a spousal maintenance arrangement, or the judge decides if the spouse seeking alimony is entitled to it, and sets the amount paid and how long the payments will last.

However, sometimes spouses get stuck with an unfair spousal maintenance order. More commonly, years have passed, and circumstances have changed that make the order impractical or unjust in some way. Whatever the reason, if you are unhappy with your alimony order, Illinois family law allows you to seek a modification.

Why divorced people need to change their alimony

Common reasons that divorced people want changes to their spousal maintenance order include:

  • The recipient has moved in with a new partner, known as cohabitation
  • The payor has gotten a new job that pays a higher salary or gotten a significant raise
  • The payor has a new disability that makes it more difficult or impossible to support themselves
  • The recipient has gotten a job, a college degree, or otherwise improved their ability to be self-sufficient
  • The payor has lost their job

In many cases, exes and their attorneys can negotiate a modification and bring the result to Family Court to have the judge amend the order. Otherwise, you may have to hold a hearing before the judge, who will weigh the evidence and decide if a modification is appropriate given the circumstances.

Find the right lawyer for you

Either way, you need sound legal advice and an advocate with strong negotiation skills. When choosing an attorney to help you modify your spousal maintenance order (or oppose your ex’s requested changes), choose one you can work well with and has a track record of handling these delicate matters successfully.