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Milwaukee County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Divorce can have a profound impact on a person’s finances. This is especially true if the person was heavily dependent on his or her spouse’s income. Alimony, also called spousal maintenance or spousal support, is financial aid paid by one spouse to another spouse after the couple divorces. Maintenance is typically awarded to a spouse who has sacrificed education, job training, or employment opportunities to maintain the marital home and/or raise the couple’s children. If you are planning to divorce in Wisconsin and you have a lower income than your spouse, it is possible that you may be entitled to spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance in Wisconsin

Some people assume that spousal maintenance or alimony is automatically awarded by the court during divorce, but this is not the case. There are three main ways that a spouse may receive alimony in Wisconsin:

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Ozaukee County divorce attorney division of marital debt

Divorce can be challenging not only emotionally, but also financially, as couples will need to work to determine how their shared property will be distributed between the two spouses. You may go into your divorce understanding that you will need to divide your marital assets, but it is important to remember that you will also be expected to divide your debts and to prepare yourself for the impact on your personal finances. In Wisconsin, with few exceptions, assets obtained and debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are considered shared marital property to be divided equally in a divorce. 

Loans Need to Be Paid Off Regardless of Marital Status

It is not uncommon for couples to acquire a lot of property during their marriage. Likewise, they can also rack up a lot of debt due to loans for education, vacation homes, vehicles, furniture, appliances, and even electronic devices such as phones and computers. Some common marital debts that can factor into your divorce settlement or resolution include:

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Jefferson County divorce attorneyChild-related issues are perhaps the most difficult aspects of a divorce. When you have a child, you must take into consideration how your divorce proceedings and the decisions about issues such as property division and spousal support will affect his or her life as well as yours. It can be difficult to balance your own needs with your child’s best interests when making decisions about various issues. Child custody can be a contentious topic in a divorce, which is why the state of Wisconsin has set forth specific guidelines for settling these types of issues.

Mediation Requirements

Like many other states across the country, Wisconsin believes that a judge making a decision about child custody should be a last resort. If you and your spouse are having a hard time agreeing on child custody issues, you both will be ordered to attend at least one mediation session to help you reach a decision. If you and your spouse use mediation to your advantage and come to a mutual decision on legal and physical custody, your agreement will be written up by the mediator, reviewed by your attorney, and given to the judge in your final custody proceeding.

Determining Physical Placement

If mediation is not appropriate for your situation, or if you and your spouse have been unable to come to an agreement, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem for your child to represent his or her best interests. You will then attend a hearing for a judge to allocate physical placement. The judge will create a schedule that allows the child to spend time with both parents, unless it is found to be harmful to the child for both parents to have visitation.

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