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Co-habitation eliminating maintenance payments?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Illinois

My final divorce contract states that if my ex-wife co-habitats with someone that it is grounds for me to stop paying maintenance. My ex-wife thinks this is negotiable after the fact. Although I realize everything is negotiable, would a judge typically rule in her favor? Her financial situation is very strong from the original splitting of the assets.

As a side note, she also agreed in the original agreement that I only had to pay her until I turned 60, if I decided to retire. If I kept working, I would keep paying her as long as I worked.


Well-known member
In re Marriage of Arvin, 540 NE 2d 919 - Ill: Appellate Court, 2nd Dist. 1989

If the language is not there:
"Unless otherwise agreed by the parties in a written agreement set forth in the judgment or otherwise approved by the court, the obligation to pay future maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party, or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance, or if the party receiving maintenance cohabits with another person on a resident, continuing conjugal basis." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 40, par. 510(b).)

Describing some aspect of what cohabitation means in general:
The fact that Judith lived with another man would not automatically justify termination of maintenance. (In re Marriage of Reeder (1986), 145 Ill. App.3d 1013, 1018.) The rationale behind statutory termination of maintenance when the recipient spouse cohabits with another on a continuing, resident, conjugal basis is that it addresses the inequity created when that spouse becomes involved in a husband-wife relationship but does not legally formalize it so that he or she can continue receiving maintenance. (Reeder, 145 Ill. App.3d at 1017.) Termination of maintenance on this basis therefore requires a showing that the recipient spouse is involved in a de facto husband-wife relationship. 145 Ill. App.3d at 1017; In re Marriage of Clark (1983), 111 Ill. App.3d 960, 961; In re Marriage of Bramson(1980), 83 Ill. App.3d 657, 662.

• 5 Robert failed to show that Judith and George Hamilton were involved in a de facto husband-wife relationship. In Bramson, the court stated as follows:

"Moreover, the legislative intent does not appear to be an attempt to control public morals. * * * Rather, an important consideration, divorced from the morality of conduct, is whether the cohabitation has materially affected the recipient spouse's need for support because she either received support from her co-resident or used maintenance monies to support him." (83 Ill. App.3d at 663.)
Our supreme court has quoted the above language with approval. See In re Marriage of Sappington (1985), 106 Ill.2d 456, 467-68.


Senior Member
Other posts here and elsewhere suggest one can have an darn frequent relationship and still tiptoe around being in a defacto marriage relationship ....OP be sure you have lots of backup to the language in your order or law especially as to economic support and or maintaining not two residences but just one .
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