Will My New Marriage Affect My Old Divorce Settlement?

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Divorce can be a challenging legal process, but the long-term benefitsare typically worth the temporary heartache and struggles. The end ofone complicated marriage gives both spouses a second chance at love andromance. However, before you put slip on a new ring, it’s importantto understand how your new marriage can affect the terms of your originaldivorce settlement.

The Financial Obligations of a Post-Divorce Life

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

Spousal Maintenance

Because your new marriage naturally alters your financial situation, itmay impact the original terms of your divorce settlement. For example,the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that bothformer spouses can request a modification or termination of payments undercertain circumstances.

Spousal maintenance can be modified or termination under the followingconditions:

  • 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 designedto financially assist the receiving spouse as they adjust to living ona single income. Depending on the terms of the divorce settlement, thesepayments can be temporary or permanent. However, if the receiving spouseremarries, the paying spouse can ask the court for a modification or terminationof the original court order. The paying spouse remarries, he or she isstill responsible for making spousal maintenance payments.

Child Support Payments

Child support payments will not be terminated if either parent decidesto remarry. Illinois law takes these court orders very seriously becausethe 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 jeopardizea child’s health or stability. However, modification can be requestedif 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 locationand your child’s school schedule.

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

Retain Experienced Legal Counsel

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

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

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