Alimony in Wisconsin: What You Need To Know
A divorce isn’t always equal at the start. You might not have the same earning capacity, which means you may be seeking alimony. Reach out to one of our lawyers who can help you fight back for the support you need. We understand the monetary difficulties that can come with a divorce, so we’ll help you do what’s possible to avoid those hardships.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony, also commonly known as maintenance, is a type of support for those who would not be able to recover alone, financially. When your financial situation is so unbalanced that you don’t have the means to pay your bills without your spouse, maintenance might be needed.
It’s not uncommon for a marriage to include one spouse who works and one who stays home to maintain the household or take care of the children. Alimony is there to provide some income and support during the divorce process. You’ll receive spousal maintenance as you would receive child support, in that your spouse should provide it at the agreed-upon amount.
Alimony is often decided in court, though you and your spouse may be able to make an agreement on your own. In these cases, you’ll both sign a marital settlement agreement stating that you both accept the amount in question. If not, you and your divorce attorney will need to fight for the support your spouse may owe you.
How the Court Decides Alimony Payments
Once you’ve determined that you need alimony, you’ll also need to determine the worth of that alimony. You and your lawyer may also need to prepare a defense for your need for alimony. Typically, there are a few factors that will affect the alimony you’ll receive:
- Your education level
- Costs of additional training for employment
- Your work history
- Custody of the children
- Your physical and emotional health
For example, you may have worked at some point, but then you left the workforce to raise your children, and you’ve not worked since then. Any certifications you had before may have expired, meaning you may need to be recertified or educated again for that role.
In some cases, you may simply be unable to work. Maybe you’ve suffered through an accident and are now unable to work at full capacity or at all. When your claim is presented in court, the judge will consider all these factors to decide whether you should receive spousal support and if so, how much.
Alimony Can Be Terminated
While your alimony shouldn’t end until you remarry or until either spouse passes away, your alimony payments can change. Alimony is a financial agreement made through your divorce, but other factors can modify your alimony agreement.
For example, if your former spouse loses their job years after the initial agreement, they won’t have any income and may be penalized if they don’t pay for your alimony. In these cases, they may return to the court and request a change to their alimony payments.
If they do so, the judge will need proof that their situation has changed significantly enough that they can’t make those payments. After that, the judge will prepare a better payment plan for them, and your spousal maintenance will change.
A divorce is difficult both emotionally and financially, and it’s difficult to recover when you can’t support yourself immediately. Fortunately, your attorney at Karp & Iancu can help you recover. We understand how difficult a divorce may be on you, and we understand that fighting for alimony against your spouse can be difficult.
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