A woman with three children recently divorced her husband after she discovered that he had been involved in a series of affairs with other women. Before they got married, her husband promised her that after they had children, she could be a stay-at-home mother and quit her job. The court awarded her alimony, or what is now known as maintenance, in the divorce because she does not have marketable skills after staying at home for the last 10 years. This allowed her to maintain her standard of living after the split.
Now her ex-husband has been laid off because of the coronavirus shutdowns, and she is concerned that he will not pay maintenance. This is just one example of the many Illinois residents experiencing disturbances in their everyday lives because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spouses who cannot comply with their alimony payments required by the courts or parenting schedules outlined in their divorce agreements wonder what they should do.
Many Illinois Residents are Unable to Pay Alimony
Many people cannot pay their alimony payments because their businesses have closed or they have been laid off. People are not sure when their jobs may come back, or if they will be able to get gainful employment again. Suppose you are concerned that you will not be able to make maintenance or child support payments, and that you will be penalized with fines and other penalties. In that case, it is important to contact a divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
The coronavirus pandemic does not give people who owe their ex-spouse alimony a free pass. They are still bound by law to follow any maintenance requirements set forth by the court, even if they have lost their job or had their work hours reduced because of the shutdown.
One of the best things you can do is to determine how much you can afford to pay while still getting by with the bare minimum of living expenses you need. You will also need to decide whether or not you need to request that the court reduce your child support payments due to your change in income.
Thousands of Cases are Stalled in Cook County
Thousands of cases are backlogged in Cook county courts. Most Illinois courts are currently open, but are doing hearings remotely. Even though the courts are currently backed up, you can still work with your lawyer to prepare to submit a petition to modify your maintenance payments. Illinois family courts have the power to reduce maintenance payments retroactively, meaning that they can reduce the payments you have missed since being laid off, but only from the date of filing of your petition, so filing your petition to modify is not something that can wait.
Contact an Experienced Cook County Divorce Lawyer Today
The coronavirus has affected everyone, including spouses who are subject to maintenance arrangements. If your circumstances have changed due to the coronavirus and you cannot make maintenance payments, or your spouse is not paying maintenance, Glasgow & Olsson can help. When you need a lawyer, experience matters, contact Glasgow & Olsson today to schedule your initial consultation.