Spousal Maintenance Mediation Attorneys In Waukesha, Wisconsin
In most marriages, couples often combine income and resources together to cater to their living expenses, pay bills, and meet other financial needs. Due to this, marital dissolution usually has significant financial implications, most especially for the lower-earning or unemployed spouse. Thankfully, the Wisconsin court may ask one spouse to support their estranged partner financially through spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) payments for a period during or after the divorce.
If you are considering filing for divorce and want to understand your rights to maintenance or spousal support, you should speak with a knowledgeable Wisconsin family law attorney for dedicated advocacy. At D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP, our attorneys have devoted their careers to offering experienced legal services and proper guidance to clients in divorce and maintenance-related matters.
Whether you want to establish or modify a spousal support arrangement, we can guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions. D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP proudly serves clients across Waukesha and the surrounding communities throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Pewaukee, Sussex and Washington County.
Overview Of Spousal Maintenance In Wisconsin
Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is a court-ordered financial support or provision from one spouse to another for a period during or after a divorce. In the state of Wisconsin, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to provide financial assistance to the non- or lower-earning spouse. Essentially, the maintenance payments will help the recipient spouse maintain – or stay close to – the couple’s standard of living during the marriage.
Types Of Maintenance In Wisconsin
There are three types of spousal maintenance that the court usually awards in Wisconsin. These include:
In Wisconsin, the judge can order one spouse to provide temporary maintenance to their estranged partner while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. Temporary maintenance will help cover attorney fees, court costs, and day-to-day living expenses. However, it will end once the divorce is final.
Furthermore, limited-term or rehabilitative maintenance is a financial provision from one spouse to their ex-partner for a specified period after the divorce. The purpose of limited-term maintenance is to support the recipient spouse financially until they complete their education, learn a skill, improve their employability, and become self-sustaining.
However, in exceptional situations, the court may award indefinite maintenance – paying spousal support for an indefinite period. This often occurs in decade-long marriages where the recipient spouse is unlikely to become self-supporting due to advanced age, critical illness, disability, or prolonged absence in the employment market.
Who Is Entitled To Spousal Maintenance?
Additionally, the judge may order spousal maintenance if one spouse needs financial support and the other party can afford to pay. In Wisconsin divorces where child support and maintenance are awarded, both support payments will be combined as a family support order.
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Determination Of Type, Amount And Duration
However, to determine the amount, type and duration of spousal maintenance, the Wisconsin court will take the following factors into consideration:
- The length or duration of the marriage
- The age, physical, and emotional health of both spouse
- The property division in the divorce
- The educational level of each spouse at the time of marriage and when filing for divorce
- The earning capacity of the requesting spouse
- The likelihood of the requesting spouse becoming self-supporting
- The tax implications of spousal maintenance payments for each spouse
- Any existing agreement concerning financial support between the couples
- Any other factor deemed relevant by the court
A practiced Wisconsin spousal maintenance attorney can help protect your spousal support rights and work diligently to resolve any pending marital or maintenance issues peacefully.
When Does Spousal Maintenance End?
Furthermore, a spouse’s obligation to make spousal maintenance payments will end when:
- Either spouse dies
- The recipient’s spouse remarries
In the event of a remarriage, the paying spouse must file a petition with the court seeking the termination of the spousal maintenance order.
Making Changes To The Current Spousal Maintenance Agreement
However, maintenance orders are not set in stone. To modify an existing spousal support agreement in Wisconsin, the requesting spouse must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the order was made.
Some common examples of changes in circumstances that may warrant seeking maintenance modification include:
- Permanent disability
- Involuntary loss of employment
- A substantial change in the cost of living
- A substantial decrease in the income of the paying spouse
- Remarriage or cohabitation
- New obligation for the paying spouse
- If the recipient’s spouse isn’t making reasonable efforts to get a new job and become self-supporting
- If the recipient’s spouse no longer needs financial assistance
A dedicated lawyer can walk you through the procedures involved in changing spousal maintenance arrangements and help you make intelligent decisions.
Work With An Experienced Family Law Attorney
To limit the economic implications of the divorce, the court may order one of the spouses to provide periodic financial support to their ex-partner. Therefore, if you need assistance to create a maintenance agreement or want to seek changes to an existing maintenance order, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is imperative for detailed guidance.
At D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP, our attorneys are poised and ready to advise and guide clients through the complex procedures involved in establishing and modifying maintenance. Our dedicated team can determine your eligibility to receive or pay spousal support and help calculate the right amount. In addition, we will advocate for your best interests and ensure that you come out of the divorce in a financially stable position.
If you are considering divorce and want to know your maintenance rights, call us at 262-383-2700 today to schedule a simple consultation. Our trusted attorneys can offer you the personalized advocacy and support you need to make intelligent decisions in your divorce matters. We proudly serve clients across Waukesha, Milwaukee, Pewaukee, Sussex, and Washington County.