Divorce is not as simple as signing a legal document. This legal process leads to other sets of agreements, child support, legal responsibilities, and other support obligations, all within family law. One of the primary responsibilities is alimony or spousal support, commonly known in Illinois as maintenance. Even though each state has its legal actions regarding alimony, Illinois’ maintenance laws are very clear.
According to LegalMatch, a few factors can help determine the amount of alimony for each case in Illinois. Some of them are the spouse’s age, length of the marriage, present and future earning ability of both parties, and presence of domestic violence.
Maintenance orders contain specific terms of when the support ends, when it can be modified, and if it can be modified at all.
Divorcenet published an article that mentions details on how to modify alimony. To obtain a new alimony order, a significant change of circumstances needs to be shown. Some evidence that can help you modify it is:
- Proof of decreased income or loss of a job
- If the spouse stopped working due to an illness
- If the supported spouse has experienced an increase in income.
There are two ways of terminating spousal support: if one of the parties dies or if the supported spouse marries again. Although those are two common ways to stop spousal support, there is a third one, cohabitation.
If the supported spouse starts cohabiting with a person on a “resident, continuing conjugal basis,” meaning, in a marriage-like relationship, the alimony can be legally terminated.
Terminating Alimony Due to Cohabitation
Proving that the supported party is cohabitating is more complicated than proving that she or he has been remarried. There needs to be evidence of a de facto relationship presented to the court for modification or termination of alimony. By court orders, sexual relationships don’t need to be proven. Nonetheless, it needs to be more than that your ex-spouse is living with another person.
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6 Factors Judges consider to Define a Relationship
How can you prove that the supported spouse is in a de facto relationship but does not live together? This scenario complicates the case more, but it’s not impossible. The law doesn’t define the length of cohabitation. When judges are involved in a cohabitation case, they use six factors to assess the relationship:
- The length of the relationship
- The amount of time spent together
- The type of activities the persons involved do
- The interrelation of their personal affairs
- The vacations they take as partners
- If they spend the holidays together
Judges take into consideration these factors to determine whether or not to terminate the alimony due to cohabitation.
The burden of proof relies on the one who pays spousal support. This could change depending on the case. Remember that each individual case presents different circumstances.
Since each state has its alimony laws, you can’t determine your case based on California law, for example. This is one of the main reasons why hiring a professional in your state is crucial to your case.
The information provided in this article should be used for informational purposes only. Seek legal advice to help you with your case from a professional with knowledge of your area’s laws.
How to Prove Cohabitation in an Alimony Case?
Hiring a Private Investigator to gather evidence for your case is almost vital. Not only will they obtain all the information that would be almost impossible for you to extract, but they will also provide you with useful information for the court.
Since each case is unique, there isn’t a standard list of evidence that could be submitted.
Professional private investigators will not only do surveillance, but they will also research public records, review their social media, and even examine their garbage for evidence if necessary.
Evidence presented by private investigators that have been useful for terminating alimony cases goes from jointly titled properties to verifying that neither of the parties involved has another residence. There are various valuable pieces of information that only a private investigator with the proper tools can gather.