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Will My New Marriage Affect My Old Divorce Settlement?

Divorce can be a challenging legal process, but the long-term benefits are typically worth the temporary heartache and struggles. The end of one complicated marriage gives both spouses a second chance at love and romance. However, before you put slip on a new ring, it’s important to understand how your new marriage can affect the terms of your original divorce settlement.

The Financial Obligations of a Post-Divorce Life

A divorce settlement is essentially a legal agreement that encompasses the terms of a couple’s separation. Before spouses can finalize their divorce, they need to make decisions regarding spousal maintenance, child custody, child support, debt allocation, and asset division. These determinations are important aspects of their divorce settlement.

Spousal Maintenance

Because your new marriage naturally alters your financial situation, it may impact the original terms of your divorce settlement. For example, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that both former spouses can request a modification or termination of payments under certain circumstances.

Spousal maintenance can be modified or termination under the following conditions:

  • One former spouse passes away
  • The receiving spouse cohabitates with a new romantic partner
  • The receiving spouse remarries
  • There is a drastic change in either spouse’s financial circumstances

Spousal maintenance, commonly known as “alimony,” is designed to financially assist the receiving spouse as they adjust to living on a single income. Depending on the terms of the divorce settlement, these payments can be temporary or permanent. However, if the receiving spouse remarries, the paying spouse can ask the court for a modification or termination of the original court order. The paying spouse remarries, he or she is still responsible for making spousal maintenance payments.

Child Support Payments

Child support payments will not be terminated if either parent decides to remarry. Illinois law takes these court orders very seriously because the purpose of child support is to provide for a child’s basic needs. There is no court in the country that will willingly and knowingly jeopardize a child’s health or stability. However, modification can be requested if the paying spouse remarries and is now financially supporting multiple children.

Child Custody Modifications

It’s not unusual for a remarriage to lead to a relocation. Of course, this may necessitate a modification in your custody agreement. For example, the visitation schedule may need to change to accommodate your new location and your child’s school schedule.

In some circumstances, your ex’s new spouse may want to legally adopt your child. The Illinois legal system will only allow this adoption if you’re willing to relinquish your parental rights.

Retain Experienced Legal Counsel

If you have any questions or concerns about your divorce settlement, contact the Illinois divorce attorneys at Wakenight & Associates. We understand that a divorce settlement from years ago may not be applicable to your present lifestyle. Our experienced legal team can help you pursue and secure any necessary modifications.

Call Wakenight & Associates, P.C. to schedule your free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Joliet, Oak Park, and Mokena.

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