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Modification of Illinois Maintenance (Alimony)

Changes in Illinois Maintenance (Alimony) Affecting IL Divorce Cases including Palatine, Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows

Amendments to Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Section 510, concerning modification of maintenance  Part I:  The Maintenance statute of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Section 510 was amended so as to take affect January 1, 2016.  Maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is the right of one spouse to receive income from the other spouse.  This blog, which shall be published in several parts, seeks to create an understanding as to how the new modification of Illinois maintenance (alimony) statute will operate and what it means to an obligor.  This law affects all divorces happening in Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and Palatine, Illinois. These blogs will provide crucial information concerning the necessary act of modifying a maintenance obligation that has previously been set.

Any time a party agrees to a maintenance provision or the Domestic Relations/ Family Court Judge order maintenance to be paid, the duration of the maintenance becomes an issue.  Under what circumstances can Illinois maintenance be modified, amended or in some cases terminated?  The answer depends upon what type of maintenance was either ordered or agreed upon.  We shall now take a couple of blog cites to analyze the different structures of Illinois maintenance and how those maintenance orders can be modified.

Non-Modifiable Maintenance

Under a Non-Modifiable Maintenance order the parties can agree that for a period of time maintenance will be due and owing, regardless the circumstances of the payor or payee that may arise subsequent to the entry of Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.  Typically, Non-Modifiable Maintenance is something that the parties will agree to and is not something that the Judge has the authority to order.

In a normal settlement negotiation, the parties are free to negotiate and agree upon certain matters in exchange for other matters.  Thus, it is possible that a party may agree to a five year Non-Modifiable Maintenance award in exchange for a lower monthly payment of maintenance.  The upside for the payor is that he/she may pay a lower monthly amount in exchange for a maintenance award that cannot be modified.  The downside to this is that if the payor of maintenance looses his/her job, that person is still on the hook for the maintenance obligation.  What will happen is that the maintenance amounts that the payor cannot pay will continue to accrue and still be owed despite the fact that the payor does not have a job from which the payments can be made.

The next blog will look at Illinois maintenance (alimony) that is to be paid over a period of time but there is not limitation as to modification.


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