In your divorce, if the court ordered you to pay spousal support, you do have the right to request a modification if you or your ex-spouse has had substantial changes in your circumstances. Most often this is a change in income, but it can apply in other areas as well. Knowing what the court considers when looking to modify a spousal support order can help you understand when a modification may make sense.

The Illinois General Assembly explains that in regards to income, the court will consider any increases or decreases in your income and your ex-spouse’s income. If either of you experience a change in income because of a change in your employment, the court will look into why the employment change happened to ensure it was in good faith and not an act specifically to impact support payments.

The court will also consider property you both own, including any you got since the divorce. It will also look at tax consequences of support payments and the payments you have made and have left to make in comparison with the length of your marriage.

The court will also look at any impairment you or your ex-spouse may have that affects your earning potential and consider your spouse’s efforts to become self-supporting. Finally, the court may look into other factors that it feels are fair to consider in the matter.

Do keep in mind that if your ex-spouse dies, support automatically ends. It also will end when your ex-spouse remarries. If your ex-spouse lives with a romantic partner, then that also can end the support obligation.