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Change in Divorce Maintenance from Newly Acquired Wealth

Change in Divorce Maintenance from Newly Acquired Wealth

A look at how inheritance or a beneficial lawsuit settlement can be factors in obtaining a change in divorce maintenance from newly acquired wealth.

Amendments to Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Section 510, concerning modification of maintenance; Part IV. This law affects all maintenance cases in Illinois including Arlington Heights divorce, Rolling Meadows divorce and Palatine divorce.

The Maintenance statute of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Section 510 was amended to take affect January 1, 2016. Maintenance (formerly known as alimony/spousal payment), 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. 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-1) provides several factors for the courts to consider when determining if a modification of maintenance request is proper or not. The seventh factor is:

(8)“the property acquired and currently owned by each party after the entry of the judgment of dissolution of marriage, judgment of legal separation, or judgment of declaration of invalidity of marriage;”

This factor looks at the estate of the of the parties subsequent to the entry of Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. This allows the court to look at the current holdings of the relative spouses. Thus for example, if a spouse who is receiving maintenance inherits a sizeable sum from a deceased relative, the court can consider this newly acquired wealth when determining how long maintenance should continue and how much the monthly payment should be going forward.

This factor can also be raised if the spouse who receives the maintenance wins a law suit that will pay them certain monies either in a lump sum or over time. Thus a spouse who is currently paying maintenance should be paying attention to the circumstances of the ex-spouse who is receiving maintenance to see it is possible to obtain a change in divorce maintenance from newly acquired wealth.

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