Spousal Support Under Recent Law in Illinois

Divorce AttorneyIn 2015, Illinois lawmakers approved an amended version of spousal maintenance law. Many cases that were decided under the previous law are being evaluated for modifications or maintenance reviews considering the new regulations, when appropriate. Here are some of the important aspects of the new law that you must understand.

Existing Spousal Maintenance should be Modifiable

If an individual wants the court to consider a modification on their existing order for spousal maintenance, it is necessary that it must be modifiable. Spousal maintenance, in general, is modifiable in most of the cases, however, there are some instances when it is unmodifiable, therefore, if you are looking for modification, you must consult your divorce lawyer to learn more about your arrangement. If modifiable, you can file a petition in the court to initiate the modification process.

There should be a Substantial Change in Circumstances

An individual who is filing the petition is required to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances. Establishing the fact that a substantial change in the conditions of single or both spouses took place since the order was issued or last modification will enable them to file for modification. The change may include an increase or decrease in a spouse(s)’ income, new employment, loss of employment, retirement, or disability. Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side can help you to validate that there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

Modifying the Amount of Spousal Maintenance

In case an individual is successful in proving a substantial change in circumstances, there will be several factors that a court will consider to change the amount of spousal maintenance. These factors may include the length of their marriage, age, sources of income, health, and occupation. They may also assess the income levels of each spouse, their earning capacity, any disability that may affect their earning capacity, and the time duration or financial resources required by a spouse to improve their earning capacity. In addition to that, they will take tax consequences during the asset division related to divorce into account, among any aspect that seems relevant.

Old Law or New Law?

As per the case law, the new statute is applied prospectively, not retrospectively. Thus, all the court orders related to spousal maintenance that were made before the effective date of the new law i.e. January 1, 2015, they will fall under the ruling decided under the old statute. However, there may be cases where the court may consider that using the new maintenance law will result in a more reasonable and fair decision.

If you are seeking to modify your spousal maintenance arrangement, it is critical to gain an understanding of your rights and the laws applicable to your case. A competent divorce lawyer will explain you your legal options and represent your case effectively to ensure that you are able to exercise your rights.

If you wish to learn more about spousal maintenance modification or want to schedule a free consultation, contact Law Office of Fedor Kozlov at 847-241-1299 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer.

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