750 ILCS 5/510(c) provides that maintenance payments in Illinois (alimony in other states) can terminate if a divorced spouse receiving maintenance cohabits with another person on a resident, continuing conjugal basis. Cohabitation is loosely defined as a relationship having all of the characteristics of marriage except for the license.
There is no bright line test used by Illinois courts to determine if cohabitation has occurred. Instead, courts will focus on the totality of the circumstances as well as consider such things as the length of the relationship, amount of time spent together, the nature of activities engaged in, interrelation of personal affairs, vacations taken together and holidays spent together.
Illinois courts also consider the financial circumstances of the relationship and factors such as whether financial accounts are held together, if there is intertwining or comingling of financial resources, and if named as beneficiaries in life insurance and retirement plans.
It bears mention Illinois courts are clear that having a sexual relationship is not required. The parties are also permitted to agree that cohabitation will not be grounds for termination of maintenance.
A divorced spouse receiving maintenance in Illinois can certainly date. However, the more factors that point to the dating relationship being “marriage-like,” the greater the chance the Court can find cohabitation has occurred resulting in termination of maintenance.
Take advantage of the experience we have in family law matters and call Nicholas J. Galasso now at 630-949-2061 or access our website at www.GalassoPC.com and schedule a free consultation.