How Can Remarriage Change the Terms of My Divorce?
The completion of divorce proceedings has an air of finality. The marriage is officially over, the sometimes long and drawn out divorce process is finished, and both parties can move on with their lives. However, just because a divorce is final does not mean those involved will live by their divorce decree forever. Like everything else in life, the terms of a divorce often change, sometimes years after they were finalized.
Remarriage is one of the biggest reasons the terms of a divorce will change. When one of the ex-spouses gets remarried, both parties will want to consider how spousal maintenance and child support will be affected.
Remarriage and Maintenance in Illinois
Generally speaking, when a person who is receiving maintenance gets remarried, their former spouse will no longer be required to pay alimony. The only exception is when the two parties have come to another agreement. The person making alimony payments can stop doing so upon the date of the remarriage. They do not have to return to court or ask for an order of termination of support.
When a person is receiving maintenance from their ex-spouse and knows they are getting remarried, they must provide the person paying maintenance with 30 days notice of the marriage. If that is not possible, they must tell the paying spouse of the marriage within 72 hours of the marriage. If the person paying had already made maintenance payments after the date of the wedding, they are entitled to reimbursement for that amount.
In instances when the person making maintenance payments becomes remarried, there is no automatic change to maintenance payments. However, the person making payments can petition the court and ask them to reconsider. In Illinois, the courts have done this before. They may determine that a person no longer has to pay maintenance to an employable person with no children when they have another family to support.
Remarriage and Child Support in Illinois
Remarriage in Illinois has no effect on child support payments. This sometimes seems unfair, particularly in situations when a custodial parent remarries someone that is quite wealthy and in a position to care financially for the children. However, the law is clear. Parents are expected to provide financial support for any children they bring into the world, regardless of the child’s living situation. Due to the fact that child support payments are meant to provide for the child, not the ex-spouse, these will remain the same after either party remarries.
A parent may ask for child support payments to be modified if either parent experiences a significant change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a decrease in income that would cause a person to be unable to meet their obligations. Child support payments can only be terminated in Illinois after the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, or when a parent terminates their parental rights, which may be done if the other parent’s new spouse wants to adopt the child.
Have a Question About Alimony or Child Support? Contact a Palatine Divorce Modification Attorney
If you have questions about modifying the terms of your divorce, contact experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson. He can help you address any legal concerns that may arise during or after your divorce. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 to schedule your free consultation.