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Length of Marriage May Factor Into Spousal Support Award

D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP Dec. 14, 2018

Not everyone gets to experience a happy, long-term marriage, and not everyone whose marriage lasts for decades is in a good relationship. Marriages can end early on or after many years, and Wisconsin residents who are considering later in life divorces should understand how the duration of their marriages may impact their abilities to receive support from their soon-to-be ex-spouses.

The length of a marriage is just one factor that courts will weigh when determining if and how spousal support should be awarded. Generally, however, non-working spouses can make strong cases for needing financial support from their exes. If a person gives up their career in order to support their ex’s job path and to raise their children as a stay-at-home parent, they may find that they have been out of the workforce for decades when their divorce is under review.

Getting back into a career may be difficult for a person who as nearing or at retirement age, and therefore spousal support may be appropriate based on their position in their ending marriage. It may also be appropriate if the individual has developed or suffers from any medical conditions that may make it impossible for them to earn the money they will need to support themselves once their marriage has officially ended.

Some long-term marriages truly last until death parts the spouses. Unfortunately, though, older married couples are not immune to divorce and still choose to end their relationships at a significant rate. Long-term marriages may avail certain parties to spousal support if they do not have options for going back to work or securing income on which to support themselves once their relationships have ended.