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What Factors Determine Spousal Support in Wisconsin?

 Posted on May 10, 2022 in Family Law

Waukesha, WI Divorce LawyerDuring a divorce, one of the more important and potentially contentious issues is ongoing payments from one spouse to the other. Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is designed to allow a spouse who was not employed or brought in less income than their partner to maintain their standard of living after a divorce. In the state of Wisconsin, judges have wide latitude on how to grant maintenance payments and to determine how long they will last. It is important to work with an attorney who can make sure that the money you are receiving, or the amount you are ordered to pay, is appropriate.

Factors for Maintenance Payments

While there is no set formula to determine maintenance payments or duration in Wisconsin, judges largely base their order on the following factors:

  • Length of marriage - The longer the duration of your marriage, the more likely support payments will be granted

  • Earning potential – If the spouse seeking the payments needs additional job training or education, the judge is more likely to award payments. However, if they have recent job experience and easily marketable skills, they may receive less payments or none at all.

  • Marital contributions – A spouse who stayed at home to help raise children or contributed to supporting their spouse’s career are more likely to receive payments.

  • Age, health, and education – Other factors which may prevent a spouse from entering the workforce and earning an income include advanced age, physical or mental health issues, and lack of appropriate education.

A judge will also consider any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that the couple signed as well as how other assets in the marriage, such as the marital home, are being distributed. If the spouse receiving the payments will also have a larger role in raising the couple’s children, impacting his or her ability to regain employment or pursue training, the judge will consider that as well.

When considering the factors, the judge will determine the appropriate level of support and the time needed to allow the spouse to support themselves. If the spouse receiving the payments remarries or moves in with a new partner, the payments will end. Modifications to the payments can be sought if either party has a significant change to their income or in their living circumstances, including health issues or a move out of state.

Contact a Milwaukee Lawyer for Spousal Support Payments

Let us be your advocate for fair alimony payments. If you are considering a divorce and would like to discuss your spousal maintenance options, contact a Waukesha County divorce attorney from Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP today. Call us at 262-232-6699 for a free consultation.


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