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Maintenance - Solidifying What it Means


Most people are familiar with the rule that cohabitation can terminate maintenance (formerly known as alimony). While remarriage is the ultimate level of cohabitation, living with someone is also a basis for the termination of maintenance in Illinois. But how much cohabitating is enough to terminate maintenance in Illinois?

The key distinction is whether it is a “dating” relationship or a “cohabitating conjugal” relationship. Illinois courts can consider various factors defining a relationship such as (1) its length; (2) the amount of time they spent together; (3) the nature of the activities they engaged in; (4) the interrelation of their personal affairs; (5) their vacationing together; and (6) their spending holidays together. In re Marriage of Herrin, 262 Ill. App. 3d 573, 577 (4th Dist. 1994).



Most recently in March 2021, the Third District Appellate Court in In re Marriage of Aspan, 2021 IL App (3d) 19014 affirmed the termination of a husband’s obligation to pay maintenance to his ex-wife who was found to be in a “continuing conjugal” relationship with her boyfriend. Despite a lack of evidence of a sexual relationship, the Court held that the evidence supported a finding that at least 4 of the 6 factors generally considered by trial courts were found satisfied, including that they intermingled their finances and vacationed together.

If you are looking for advice on how to modify your maintenance obligation or any other family law matter, contact Bennett Law LLC. We can be reached at (312) 786-5800 and can meet you at our offices in Deerfield, Naperville and Chicago, or via Zoom.


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