How Does Alimony Work in Wisconsin?

Alimony is a form of spousal maintenance which is made to your ex-spouse after divorce to help with their financial situation. It is intended to assist the more financially dependent spouse. However, either spouse may request maintenance from the other irrespective of how the marriage ended.

It is not necessary to involve the court in this process. Many spouses who are divorcing usually come to an amicable agreement on the amount and length of payments without any intervention from the courts. A marital settlement agreement is then drawn up which is designed to memorialize the agreement. However, if either spouse is being difficult, then the courts would have to decide whether alimony should be awarded, how long it should be awarded, and what the payment amounts should be.

If children are involved, then child support will also be a part of the divorce proceedings. So, if a spouse is requesting alimony, but also has children, then the court would likely order family support also. The order combines the two separate payments into one, however, the two obligations are calculated differently.

In the state of Wisconsin, there is no set formula to determine the amount or frequency of alimony payments. Therefore, alimony payments can be ordered for a short period of time, or they may last indefinitely. However, to be fair, the court considers several factors such as the length of the marriage, physical and emotional health, spouses ages, as well as how their property and individual assets have been divided.

Factors also taken into consideration are the education level of each spouse, who contributed towards the education of one or either spouse, and the earning capacity of the spouse seeking maintenance. So, everything from the earning capacity, training, skills, educational background, work experience, and time away from the workforce, will be scrutinized when requesting alimony.

If mutual financial agreements were made between the spouses while they were still married, the courts will look at whether that agreement was honored by either spouse, as well.

Alimony is only granted once the divorce is finalized. However, in the interim, the dependent spouse can request that temporary alimony payments be made while the divorce and alimony order is being finalized. This will help them to cover their expenses and get through the difficult time.

Requests for changes to alimony payments can be made, however, the court will only consider changes if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a significant increase in the cost of living.

In the state of Wisconsin, the spouse who pays the alimony must take deductions from the amount paid to taxes and the spouse who receives the alimony is obligated by law to declare it amount as income and pay taxes on it. If you’re going through a divorce and would like to know help with the process and your alimony, you should contact Karp & Iancu, S.C. family lawyers who will assist you through all the procedures and help you come to a fair arrangement.

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