Before you file for divorce, you have to consider many things, including alimony, which is also known as spousal maintenance in Wisconsin. Either spouse can ask for alimony, and it is important to understand the state laws and how courts decide about maintenance. Also, you may want to talk to a Wisconsin alimony attorney to know if you qualify for alimony. In this post, we are sharing key details worth knowing.
How is maintenance decided?
Courts in Wisconsin look at various factors to decide if maintenance can be granted. Things like the length of the marriage, age and physical health of the spouses, distribution of assets, qualifications of both spouses, and earning capacities will matter. The court will also consider the extent of comfort enjoyed during the marriage and if the couple had made an agreement before marriage that would govern the financial aspects of the divorce. If you had a short-term marriage, it is highly unlikely that the court will award alimony unless you are sick or have an extremely low-income level.
How long does maintenance last?
If the court awards maintenance to one spouse, it will set a definite term for which alimony is payable. However, there are exceptions too. If the spouse seeking alimony is old and unable to work, the maintenance term could be long or indefinite. What happens if you still need maintenance after the definite term is over? You can again go to court and request an extension citing reasons before the due term is over.
Is it possible to modify the maintenance award?
Yes, if the spouse receiving maintenance dies or gets married again, the other spouse can approach the court and get the maintenance award terminated. Maintenance is also terminated if the spouse paying the money dies. Circumstances can change and could become a valid reason to seek changes in maintenance order. As far as taxes are concerned, the spouse who has been awarded maintenance must show the alimony money as income and pay taxes as applicable.
Get legal help
Your divorce is not an easy decision and is much more than ending the marriage. It is important to have an attorney on your side to know your rights and interests. An alimony attorney can help determine the factors that can impact your request for maintenance. Also, you can expect the lawyer to handle the paperwork and other aspects that matter. Get an attorney as soon you decide about the divorce.