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Cohabitation and the Termination of Spousal Support


Once a divorce is over, or before it’s over for some, new relationships happen. In fact, some individuals may become very serious with a new partner very quickly. When this happens, some couples move in together. However, this isn’t a great idea if you’re receiving spousal support as part of your divorce.

Illinois law prohibits spousal support if a spouse chooses to cohabitate with another individual. As such, if you’re currently paying spousal support to your ex-spouse but he or she is cohabitating with another individual, you will no longer have to pay.

Read on to learn more about cohabitation and how this affects support.

How Spousal Support Works in Illinois 

In Illinois, spousal support ends when a spouse gets remarried or cohabitates with another individual. Cohabitation doesn’t mean an individual is sleeping at their home every once in awhile either. Instead, cohabitation must occur on a “resident, continuing conjugal basis.”

The idea behind this is that a spouse shouldn’t be entitled to receive support form a former spouse if they are living with or marrying a new spouse and receiving additional support from them. As such, the courts won’t allow the spouse to collect support from multiple sources.

What Does Cohabitation Mean?

Judges consider many factors when determining what it means to reside with someone on a “resident, continuing conjugal basis.” Just some of these factors include:

  • The length of a relationship;
  • How much time your former spouse is spending with the individual;
  • Whether the new individual is keeping a significant amount of belongings at the former spouse’s home;
  • Activities of the couple (i.e. spending time together vs. separate time); and
  • The degree to which affairs are intertwined (joint checking account, etc.)

Every case is different and every judge is different. However, most judges will consider these same factors in making a ruling.

Contact Your Naperville Divorce Attorney for Assistance

If you believe your former spouse is cohabitating with another individual, it’s important you take up matters with a Naperville divorce attorney. At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we offer over 35 years of experience in post-decree matters like this.

Talk to Larry today by contacting us at 630-470-9990 to take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation. If you would like to request an appointment online, you can do so as well. We look forward to assisting you in any way we can.

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.