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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Will I Get Alimony During My Wisconsin Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce/Family Law

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:

  • Prenuptial Agreement: Marital agreements including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may include provisions addressing the division of property, spousal maintenance, and other divorce issues. If a couple signed a prenuptial agreement that gives a spouse the right to collect alimony, the court will typically uphold the agreement unless there are issues that invalidate the marital contract.

  • Marital Settlement Agreement: Most divorce cases do not go to trial because the spouses are able to reach an agreement about the terms of their divorce outside of court. A skilled divorce lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a spousal maintenance arrangement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you are able to reach an out-of-court agreement, the amount and duration of alimony payments will be written into your final marital settlement. The arrangement then becomes a legally binding court order.

  • Judgment through the court: If you and your spouse are not able to reach an agreement about spousal maintenance, your last option may be to take your case to trial. The court will consider many different factors when deciding whether or not to award alimony, including the duration of the marriage; the established standard of living; each spouse’s age, health, education, and earning capacity; and the contributions that a spouse made to the increased earning capacity of the other spouse. Wisconsin judges do not take “marital misconduct” such as adultery or abuse into consideration when determining spousal maintenance awards.

Amount and Duration of Maintenance

Divorce cases can take months or even years to complete. If you require financial support between your separation and the divorce, you may be able to petition the court for temporary support. This support ends when the divorce is finalized. Post-divorce spousal maintenance may be temporary or indefinite depending on the recipient’s needs. Wisconsin courts have broad discretion when determining the amount of spousal maintenance a spouse will receive. The spouses’ monthly disposable incomes, child support orders, and tax concerns are typically used by courts when deciding how much maintenance a spouse is entitled to.

Contact a Racine County Divorce Lawyer

If you are planning to end your marriage in Wisconsin and you want to learn more about your right to alimony, contact the Bucher Law Group, LLC. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to spousal maintenance payments, which can help alleviate the financial stress after your divorce. Call our office today at 262-303-4916 to set up a free consultation with an experienced Dodge County divorce attorney from our firm.




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