Alimony in the state of Wisconsin is also referred to as Spousal Maintenance or Spousal Support.
Alimony refers to the payment made from one ex-spouse to support the other spouse after a divorce financially.
Spousal Maintenance is often a temporary source of financial support for the spouse receiving support due to this spouse being dependent on the other during the marriage.
The system of Alimony has been designed by the state of Wisconsin such that when the other spouse starts to support his or herself or remarries, this support stops.
The court doesn’t need to become involved in the process of spousal maintenance. Instead, spouses can agree on the amount paid from one spouse to the other and the length for which this amount will pay.
It can do without the court intervening in the issue. However, it is usually when there is no agreement between the spouses concerning spousal maintenance that the court is brought into the matter. Then, the court decides whether to award alimony or not, how the alimony payment should make, and the length of time for which the payment should continue.
Factors Considered for Being Paid Spousal Maintenance
Before the State of Wisconsin can decide to award spouses alimony, there are quite a number of factors that the courts have to look at.
The state of Wisconsin has no definitive structure concerning the manner with which the spousal maintenance must order if they should order.
Whatever the decision the court decides to make, it is often within their discretion. It gives the court considerable power to decide the factors to consider and the importance of giving each factor.
These factors include;
- The length of the marriage
- The earning abilities and employment skills of the spouse seeking support
- The age and education of the spouses involved.
- The physical and emotional health of the parties involved.
- The agreements that were made between the spouses, if any, during the marriage or before it
- The scope and the time that the spouse that is being supported requires to become independent.
- The division of assets gained during the marriage and the tax consequences to both spouses
- The guardianship of the child born with the responsibilities and issues attached to it.
- The contributions made in making the home and also in developing the other.
- The probability of the party seeking alimony to become self-supporting and afford a standard of living that is comparable (to a degree) to the standard of living that enjoyed during the marriage.
- And other factors considered by the court as important.
How much alimony to award
It is important to note that the court does not award maintenance. Provided that the marriage has lasted a long time, and one spouse is capable of paying maintenance, it only ensures that:
- The net disposable incomes of both spouses are equally allocated, or
- The budget needs of the spouse receiving alimony are met, provided they are reasonable.
- The spouse receiving alimony can maintain a similar standard of living or equal to the one enjoyed during the marriage.
How long alimony should last
The court often sets the length of time for alimony. However, there are exceptions to this rule to make alimony last indefinitely, and it includes:
- The length of marriage and
- The inability of the spouse requesting alimony to work.
Changing and Modifying Payments
A spouse can request a change in the payment of alimony. However, unless a substantial change has occurred in the spouses’ circumstances, the court would not modify these payments. An example of this is an increase in the cost of living or the loss of employment etc.