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Joliet IL divorce lawyerIf you have recently been through a divorce, you may be excited about the possibility of finding someone new to spend the rest of your life with. However, the thought of your former spouse doing the same may not be nearly as appealing. An ex’s remarriage can be difficult to deal with on a personal level, and it can also sometimes have legal implications when it comes to the terms of your divorce resolution. You should think carefully about how you handle this situation to avoid creating a hostile environment for everyone involved.

Emotionally Coping With Your Ex’s Remarriage

Whether it happens soon after divorce or several years later, news of your former spouse’s remarriage can reopen old wounds caused by the failure of your relationship, especially if you have not yet found a new partner yourself. It can be easy to let your emotions get the better of you and react irrationally, perhaps by lashing out at your ex, complaining about them to your friends and family and on social media, or even trying to sabotage their new relationship. If you are not careful, your behavior could cross into the realm of stalking or harassment, and you could be subject to criminal charges or an order of protection. Rather than giving in to your destructive urges, try talking to a therapist or trusted friend and focusing on your own work, hobbies, or relationships.

Effects on Spousal Maintenance

If your former spouse has been ordered to pay you maintenance after the divorce, you may find that they start to shirk their obligations after their remarriage. Getting remarried is not a valid reason to stop making payments, and if you cannot resolve your spouse’s nonpayment on your own, you have the right to petition the court for enforcement of the spousal support order. On the other hand, if you have been paying spousal support and you find out that your former spouse has remarried, you do have the right to stop making payments, and you should work with the court to terminate the maintenance order.

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If My Ex Remarries, Am I Still Obligated to Pay Spousal Support?After your divorce proceedings are finalized and all the dust settles, it can sometimes still feel as if you have marital obligations to your former spouse. Spousal support is often a requirement for divorced couples, and if you share children, you will continue to communicate and see each other in the years to come. Spousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, is the financial support from the higher-earning spouse to the other. Oftentimes, these payments are made monthly and the allotted amount is determined and mandated by the court. All spousal support agreements vary, both in amount and timeline, and you may be wondering how long the payments will go on. As the years go by, this financial assistance can begin to seem unnecessary, especially if your former spouse is in a serious relationship with someone new. Luckily, Illinois law addresses the instances that warrant spousal support adjustments or termination for situations such as these.

Adjusting Spousal Support Obligations

Is the possibility of marriage on your former spouse’s horizon? This situation arises for many divorced couples and warrants adjustments to your spousal support obligations. According to Illinois law, there are three situations that warrant immediate termination of spousal support obligations: the death of either spouse, the remarriage of the receiving spouse, or if the receiving spouse begins cohabitating with another person. Because the purpose of alimony is to help the lower-earning spouse stay afloat, if a new spouse comes into the picture, then the financial assistance is no longer necessary. 

If your spouse does not remarry, but you believe that you have a case to modify your spousal support obligations, it is best to discuss your situation with a divorce attorney to verify that it qualifies for an adjustment. According to Illinois law, spousal maintenance obligations may be modified or terminated if the paying party can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as the following:

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