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How Can Dating Someone New Impact Your Illinois Divorce Agreement?

 Posted on January 29, 2021 in Divorce

Northwest Cook County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In the wake of your divorce, the thought of rejoining the dating scene may seem unappealing and unrealistic, but as the months or years go by, you may find yourself longing for the companionship that you once had in past relationships. Many divorcees find a new partner without even looking through work, friends, or their involvement in the community. But just because you meet someone does not mean that you feel the need to get married again. Whether it is a result of trauma from your past marriage or simply a sense of content with your current situation, you may opt to be a lifelong partner rather than taking on the title “husband” or “wife” again. You may think that your dating life no longer concerns your former spouse; however, your new relationship can affect the details of your divorce agreement.

Spousal Maintenance

Most divorces include the payment of spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, from one spouse to the other. The purpose of this financial support is to ease the transition from sharing finances throughout your marriage to becoming financially independent. When the court determines the details of spousal maintenance, they typically leave the payment period open-ended. This does not mean, however, that the payments are completely indefinite. There are a number of factors that can lead to the termination of spousal maintenance, including cohabitation with a new partner. This does not mean that if you move in with a friend or roommate, your former spouse will no longer owe you alimony. Once you have moved in with a new partner “on a resident, continuing conjugal basis,” the paying party can request to terminate his or her financial support obligations.

Parenting Plans

Divorced parents often struggle with their child and former spouse’s partner spending time together when their co-parent begins to date someone new. In some cases, this can be a result of jealousy or insecurities about their relationship with their child. On the other hand, it can be out of concern for their child’s safety and well-being. If the child’s safety is in question, your former spouse can address this in court to include restrictions within your parenting plan. Otherwise, he or she cannot control whether or not your child spends time with your new partner. Your dating life will not impact your co-parent’s obligation to pay child support or spend time with your child.

If you decide to move in with your partner, you will need to update the details of your parenting plan. Depending on how far your move is, it may be considered relocating by the court’s standards. Relocating will require the permission of your co-parent or the court if your former spouse refuses to sign off on the move. If you do relocate with a new partner and your child, your co-parent will still be required to provide financial support for your child — the responsibility does not fall on your new partner.

Contact a Palatine Post-Decree Modification Lawyer

Starting to date again after a long time can be an exciting experience. Not only can it help you move on from your divorce, but you may realize that one failed relationship does not have to mean a lifetime alone. At The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, we help divorcing couples through every step of the process, including those that occur after the legal process is finalized. If your ex-spouse is attempting to terminate his or her alimony obligations or otherwise edit your divorce agreement, our legal team will represent you and your best interests. Contact our Arlington Heights post-decree modification attorney at 847.873.6741 today to schedule your free consultation.


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