The decision to end your marriage is not an easy one. You have many choices to make and also many compromises. One of the most common questions is whether you will receive alimony. Alimony is called spousal maintenance in Wisconsin.
Spousal maintenance is money given from one spouse to the other to reduce the financial hardship caused by divorce. The money is designed to provide assistance to the party who is financially dependent on the other. While alimony was more common half a century ago, it may still be part of a Wisconsin divorce.
What are the Different Types of Spousal Maintenance?
There are several types of spousal maintenance available in Wisconsin. These include:
- Temporary support
- Permanent support
- Reimbursement support
- Lump sum support
Temporary support is provided to a spouse for a specific period of time, typically during the time the divorce is being finalized.
Permanent support is provided to a spouse on a regular basis until the party remarries or when one of the parties dies.
Reimbursement support is temporary support paid from one party to the other to reimburse the other for payments made, such as for education expenses.
Lump-sum support is a financial payment that is made in one payment rather than with monthly payments over time.
What Factors Does the Judge Consider for Spousal Maintenance?
There are many factors that the judge will evaluate when determining whether to provide spousal maintenance and which type of maintenance to allow. Some of these factors include:
- How long the couple was married
- The age and health of both parties
- Each party’s educational level
- Each party’s earning capacity
- Standard of living
- Tax consequences
- Division of property
- Contribution of one party to the other’s earning power
- Mutual agreements made by parties
It is important to note that marital misconduct is not a relevant factor that the judge may use to determine maintenance payments.
How Much Spousal Maintenance May I Receive?
The type and amount of alimony will vary from couple to couple. The judge will review the financial situation of the couple to decide the amount that would be appropriate. You may request a specific amount; however, the judge will make a decision based on the facts of the case. There are no specific guidelines for spousal maintenance. In general, the courts may try to ensure that both parties end up with approximately an equal amount of money.
Typically, the court will set a specific amount for payments, rather than a percentage of the spouse’s income. Because spousal maintenance is a flexible situation, it is best to have your divorce attorney advocate on your behalf for a fair amount. You want to end up with enough money to live in the manner in which you were accustomed during the marriage.
When you are ready to end your marriage, you need the support and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney. Contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to discuss your legal needs.