We Answer Some Frequently Asked Questions About Spousal Maintenance (aka Alimony)
Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is a common bone of contention in divorce. We examine some frequent issues that people raise about maintenance in a Wisconsin divorce.
D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP provides a free consultation to address your specific concerns if you are getting divorced and think an award for spousal maintenance may be in play.
Is spousal maintenance the same as alimony?
The Wisconsin courts do not use the term alimony, but for practical purposes those terms are interchangeable. “Alimony” more commonly refers to permanent maintenance payments.
How long does spousal maintenance last?
The court will determine the appropriate duration of spousal maintenance. The main considerations are the length of the marriage and whether and when the recipient can become self-sufficient. Maintenance awards are temporary, limited term or permanent.
How is the amount of maintenance determined?
Wisconsin courts use a formula based on the gross income of each spouse, plus obligations such as child support. The court also considers statutory factors such as property division, tax consequences to each party, the accustomed standard of living during the marriage and the recipient’s earning capacity.
Can husbands get spousal maintenance?
It’s less common, but absolutely men can be awarded maintenance if they need financial support to get reestablished. All the same statutory criteria apply in determining whether a high-earning wife would pay alimony.
Can spousal support be terminated?
Yes. The court may cancel or reduce spousal maintenance under three scenarios: (a) the recipient spouse has remarried, (b) the recipient spouse has become financially independent or (c) the paying spouse has had a substantial (and involuntary) reduction in their income and cannot sustain maintenance payments.