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Modification of Maintenance: Employment

Amendments to Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act,
Section 510, concerning Modification of Maintenance: Employment

Part IV
The Maintenance statute of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Section
510 was amended so as to take affect this 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 maintenance statute will operate and what it means to an obligor.
This law affects all divorces happening in Illinios, including Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and
Palatine. These blogs will provide crucial information concerning the necessary
act of modifying a maintenance obligation that has previously been set.

Section 750 ILCS 5/510 (a-5) provides several factors for the courts to consider when
determining if a modification of maintenance request is proper or not. The second
factor is:
(1) “the efforts, if any, made by the party receiving maintenance to
become self-supporting, and the reasonableness of the efforts where
they are appropriate”

This is also an important factor as well in that it does place an affirmative burden on the
party receiving maintenance to make efforts to obtain employment. The legislature has
considered the importance of the party seeking maintenance to become self supporting.
The idea is to try to make the parties independent and not in a state of dependence on the
paying party. In a reviewable maintenance situation it is of great importance to attempt to
obtain employment at the highest level possible given the educational and experience
background of the receiving party. This does place an affirmative obligation on the
receiving party to maintain a certain level of employment.

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