Family Law Top FAQs And Answers

When Does A Court Award Maintenance?

Maintenance, otherwise known as spousal support or alimony can be awarded to either party in certain cases. The court will consider a number statutory factors in each case to determine if maintenance is appropriate based on the specific facts of each individual case. Some, but not all, of the factors the court considers are: the length of the marriage, the earnings or earning capacity of each party, the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during their marriage and the time it may take for the lower earning spouse to improve their education or career to become self-sustaining. Maintenance can be temporary or long-term, depending on the responsibilities, opportunities and circumstances of those involved. An experienced family law attorney will be able to assess your situation and tell you what you may be able to expect.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Child support is based on a combination of the parent's incomes, the needs of the children and the physical placement schedule. It is possible, even in an equal shared placement situation the higher earning parent will still be subject to a child support order. The court will also consider the payment of the children's variable expenses and medical insurance premiums when determining an appropriate child support amount. Wisconsin has set child support guidelines which are relied upon by the courts and attorney to estimate and determine the amount of child support a parent may pay.

When Does Child Support Terminate?

Child support terminates when a child reaches the age of 18, or the age of 19 if the child is still in enrolled in a full-time course of education leading to the acquisition of a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additionally, if a child gets married or joins the military before the age of 18 a parent's child support obligation may cease at that time. It's best to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you are faced with any of those situations to determine your rights and obligations for continued support.

What Is Common-Law Marriage?

Wisconsin does not recognize common-law marriage. It does not matter how long you have been with your partner. If you do not have a marriage certificate you will not receive automatic inheritance rights, survivorship benefits and other spousal rights. If you are living together and wish to leave your property to your partner, have an attorney who is experienced in wills, trusts and estate planning guide you.

For more detailed or personal answers to these FAQs and other family law questions, call
D'Angelo & Grabow at 262-278-0987 or contact us online and an experienced member of our family law team will respond. Serving Waukesha, Milwaukee and clients throughout southeastern Wisconsin.