An Overview of the Alimony Laws in Wisconsin
Also referred to as spousal support and spousal maintenance, alimony is a form of financial support that one party is ordered to pay to their former partner during or after a divorce. As a general rule, alimony is paid by the financially-advantaged spouse to the financially-disadvantaged spouse. There is a wide body of statutory law and case law regarding alimony in Wisconsin. Here are four important things that you need to know about our state spousal support laws:
- Alimony is Not Guaranteed: First and foremost, it is important to emphasize that alimony is not awarded in every divorce case in Wisconsin. In fact, studies consistently find that alimony is only granted in approximately ten percent of divorce cases. Typically, alimony will be awarded if there is a significant gap in current and future economic prospects between the parents and/or there is another good reason for it. The spouse who wishes to receive alimony has the duty to present compelling evidence that such support is justified.
- There are Three Types of Alimony: There are actually three different types of alimony in Wisconsin. What (if any) alimony will be granted depends on the specific circumstances of the case. 1) Rehabilitative alimony is a type of short-term spousal support designed to help the recipient get back on their feet. 2) Compensatory alimony is a form of spousal support that accounts for the contributions and sacrifices that the recipient made to support the marriage and family. 3) Lifestyle alimony is paid so that the recipient can continue to enjoy the lifestyle that they became accustomed to during the course of the marriage.
- Amount and Duration Varies (Case-By-Case): Alimony is always awarded on a case-by-case basis in Wisconsin. The amount and duration of alimony will depend on a wide array of different factors that are specific to the marriage. Some of the key things that Wisconsin courts will consider include the length of the marriage, the age and health status of each spouse, the current and expected future financial position of each spouse, personal and professional sacrifices made to support the marriage, and any history of marital misconduct. In general, the longer the marriage and the larger the gap in financial prospects between the parties, the more likely alimony is to be awarded.
We Handle the Full Range of Spousal Support Cases in Madison
As an award-winning law firm with experience handling a broad range of family & divorce cases, our Madison alimony lawyers handle all types of spousal support matters. Regardless of the circumstances you are dealing with, we will protect your rights and interests. Along with other types of alimony matters, our Madison spousal support lawyers have experience with:
- Representation for Paying Spouse: We provide legal representation for spouses who may be required to pay alimony during or after their divorce. At Karp & Iancu, S.C., our Wisconsin divorce attorneys can help you put together a strong, well-supported case to limit the amount of alimony you are required to pay. In some cases, you may even be able to avoid liability for spousal support altogether. We can help you evaluate issues such as prenuptial agreements, infidelity or other misconduct by your spouse, and the specific financial circumstances of your case. Contact us today to schedule a strictly confidential initial appointment with an experienced Madison alimony lawyer.
- Representation for Recipient Spouse: Are you entitled to receive alimony as part of your divorce? We are here to help you answer that question and put you in the best possible position to receive the full and fair spousal support payments that you are due under Wisconsin law. Among other things, our Madison spousal support attorney will gather and review all of your spouse’s financial information, gather and prepare all of your financial information, and craft a compelling petition on your behalf to ensure that you receive the proper amount of alimony.
- Alimony Modifications & Termination: In some circumstances, alimony payments can be modified or even terminated in Wisconsin. As an example, the remarriage of a recipient spouse can be grounds to end alimony payments. If you have any questions or concerns about getting spousal support obligations modified or terminated in Wisconsin, please do not hesitate to contact our Madison alimony attorney for immediate help with your case.
How Our Madison, WI Alimony Lawyers Can Help
Alimony is complicated. In Wisconsin, it is not uncommon for sharp disputes to arise of how much (if any) spousal support should be paid. At Karp & Iancu, S.C., we have handled more than 10,000 family law cases, including many alimony disputes. Your legal rights and financial interests matter. When you call our Madison law office, you will speak to a Wisconsin alimony attorney who can:
- Listen to your story and explain your rights/responsibilities under alimony law;
- Thoroughly investigate your case—gathering all relevant financial information;
- Provide guidance with all other issues related to your divorce;
- Represent you in settlement negotiations with your former partner; and
- Devise a personalized family law strategy focused on securing the best results.