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How Does The Court Determine Maintenance in Wisconsin?


Maintenance, or alimony, is a huge concern for most people who go through a divorce. Whether you haven’t been working and are concerned about being on your own, or you are doubtful of a spouse’s need for ongoing support, a Milwaukee family law attorney can investigate your spouse’s claims.

Maintenance can be a troubling aspect of divorce proceedings because of its unpredictability. Although state guidelines, calculators and formulas exist that provide concrete determinations of child support, there is no such objective view of maintenance by the state.

Judges consider any of the following criteria in a divorce proceeding:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Health of the parties
  • Educational levels of the parties
  • Job experience
  • Job history
  • Job prospects of the parties
  • Any contributions each might have made to the increased earning power of the other party
  • Feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage and, if so, the length of time necessary to achieve this goal
  • Other factors as the court may, in each individual case, determine to be relevant

The upside to this law is that you may come out on top if you have circumstances that are particularly sympathetic to the judge. The downside is that the unpredictability of the award may lead some dependent spouses to not seek maintenance at all and instead seek property or other limited awards — rather than risk coming away empty-handed.

If you are going through a divorce and have questions on how the court determines the amount and duration of maintenance, call one of the attorneys at Karp & Iancu, S.C. to guide you through the process.

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