Wisconsin Spousal Maintenance Lawyers

Spousal Maintenance (formerly referred to as “alimony”) is not an automatic right in Wisconsin; rather it is deemed to be an equitable matter left to the discretion of the court.  As most couples would prefer to work out all aspects of their divorce outside of court, spousal support can be reached upon agreement of the spouses; it does not need to be determined by a judge.  Spousal support may be awarded in favor of either the husband or the wife.

When Might Spousal Support be Required?

Christopher 0H8A0152Spousal support was developed in recognition that following a divorce, one spouse may not be able to easily enter (or re-enter) the workforce due to a variety of conditions.

In some cases, such as if the spouse is educated, young, and healthy, the spouse may be able to become gainfully employed in a matter of months; in which case spousal support may not be awarded, or awarded for only a limited time.  In other cases where the opposite conditions are true, a spouse may never be able to become gainfully employed.  In such a case, spousal support might be payable for a lifetime (or at least until retirement age).

Factors Often Considered by Wisconsin Courts in Determining Spousal Support

In determining whether spousal support should be granted, Wisconsin courts are free to consider any factors deemed relevant.  In our experience, courts often consider the following factors:

As a general rule, the longer that a spouse has been out of the workforce, the more that such spouse contributed to the welfare of the relationship (such as by financially supporting the other spouse or by caring for their children instead of working), and the better off the other spouse is financially, the more support will be awarded.

How Long Must Spousal Support be Paid?

As with the determination of spousal support, courts are free to order payment for as long as they believe is fair given the circumstances of the couple.

Seeking Definitive Support Payments

The general rule in Wisconsin is that the court may re-consider spousal support awards at any time, and for a variety of reasons.  In such a case, support awards could be increased, decreased, or even terminated.

Spouses, however, may waive their right for support reconsideration, and instead agree upon the amounts and length of time for which support will be paid. Often, having this certainty will be beneficial for both spouses.

Advocating For Your Spousal Support Interests

As your legal counsel, we will seek to advance your interests with respect to spousal support.