Can I Get My Maintenance Lowered When She Doesn’t Work?


I am a psychiatrist MD and work four jobs to keep all of my child support and maintenance paid. I have a private practice, a research company and work at two different hospitals. My yearly income is high, but I have a high cost going out. Meanwhile, I work 12 to 15 hour days and work everyday of the week. My day starts at 9am and does not end until 12 or 1am some days. I cannot afford furniture for my home or a new television.

However, my ex only works two days a week, drives a new car, vacations with her boyfriend in exotic places, bought her boyfriend a vehicle and is a psychologist. I have to pay her alimony until the kids are 18. I am 55 and have to work all day everyday to keep her in the lifestyle she is accustomed to. To top if off she continues to harass me about my personal life. Do I have a chance to get any of this reduced? I am going to an early grave and would really like to cut back the pace that I was setting when we were still a single family unit.



Your obligations for child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) may be modifiable under the laws of the state that entered these orders.  The criteria and timetables for modification are set by statute or court decisions.  However, if you entered into a settlement agreement that provided for the spousal maintenance, the criteria for modification of the spousal maintenance may be limited by that agreement.  If your spousal maintenance is subject to termination upon your ex-wife’s cohabitation with, or support of, her boyfriend, you may be able to pursue that issue.  You would need to review these issues with an experienced domestic litigation attorney.


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues.

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