The parties divorce decree provided for husband to pay maintenance to wife. It was to stop if she cohabited with another person.
About a year later, husband filed a petition to terminate maintenance. The court denied his petition. He appealed.
He had argued that wife had been in a dating relationship with another man for about a year. She had moved into his residence. She still kept her own separate apartment.
Wife explained that when she signed the marital settlement agreement she did not have an attorney.
She said she did not understand that living with someone on a resident, continuing conjugal basis, resulted in a ‘husband and wife’ relationship that would terminate maintenance. She thought “living together was signing a lease together. Getting a house together. Not sleeping at somebody’s house. I had my place where I stayed.”
The court examined all of the circumstances. It considered the following nonexclusive factors: “(1) the length of the relationship. (2) the amount of time spent together. (3) the nature of activities engaged in. (4) the interrelation of personal affairs (including finances). (5) whether they vacation together. (6) whether they spend holidays together.
The vast majority of evidence was clear. It established that wife cohabited with boyfriend on a resident, continuing conjugal basis. The relationship appeared to be a de facto husband and wife relationship.
In re Marriage of Walther, 2018 IL App (3d) 170289,
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