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What Terminates Spousal Support in Illinois?


In almost any divorce, spousal support isn’t designed to last forever. In fact, it’s designed to provide temporary relief to an individual who needs it after a divorce. The key word here is temporary.

Maintenance in Illinois is calculated according to a statutory formula. The formula directs attorneys to take 30 percent of the paying spouse’s gross income and subtract 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s gross income. This total is the amount the paying spouse must provide yearly.

But, what puts an end to maintenance?

According to Illinois statutory law, there are three circumstances that are grounds for termination:

  1. The death of either former spouse;
  2. The remarriage of the spouse receiving maintenance; or
  3. Cohabitation of the spouse receiving maintenance

The first and second factors are clear-cut and leave little to argue. However, what constitutes cohabitation? We’ll explore this in greater detail below.

What Does the Statute Say About Cohabitation? 

The Illinois statute terminates maintenance if the maintenance recipient cohabitates with another person in a “resident, continuing, conjugal” environment. Conjugal, as clarified by the Illinois Supreme Court, simply means living together, as a married couple would.

The courts consider a totality of the circumstances to determine whether something is conjugal. Some of the factors up for consideration include:

  • The length of the relationship between cohabitants;
  • How much time the cohabitants spend together;
  • What kinds of activities the cohabitants do together;
  • How interconnected the cohabitants’ financial and personal affairs are;
  • Whether the cohabitants spend holidays and vacation together; and
  • Any other facts or circumstances that evidence a marital relationship

If You Suspect Cohabitation, Contact Your Naperville Divorce Lawyer 

It’s important that you address the issue properly to end maintenance if you’re legally entitled to do so. If you suspect cohabitation but haven’t yet taken steps to prove it, a Naperville divorce attorney can help. 

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we offer our clients over 36 years of legal experience to ensure the best outcomes in any case and for any family law need. If you suspect that your former spouse is cohabitating and is therefore no longer entitled to maintenance, contact Larry at 630-470-9990 to take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation. If you prefer, you may also fill out our online form and we will contact you to arrange a time for your consultation.

We look forward to speaking with you and offering assistance in any way possible!

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.