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Madison Alimony Lawyer

Jefferson County spousal maintenance lawyer

Experienced Spousal Support Lawyer in Dane County, WI

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, you are likely to be concerned about what the future will bring. While you may be ready to leave a relationship that is no longer working, you may also be concerned about how you will adjust to life without your spouse. If you have been reliant on your spouse's income to meet your family's needs, you may be worried about your ability to support yourself. On the other hand, if you are your family's primary income earner, you may be unsure about whether you may be required to provide financial assistance to your spouse, and you may be concerned about how this will affect your finances going forward.

If one spouse has been responsible for earning most of your family's income, spousal support may be necessary to ensure that both you and your spouse can maintain the standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage. At John T. Fields & Associates, LLC, our skilled family law attorneys have over 35 years of experience helping with divorce-related issues, and we can advise you on the best ways to address financial support obligations. We are well-versed in the laws that govern divorce and spousal support in Wisconsin, and we can help you prepare to meet your financial needs in the future.

Understanding Spousal Support in Dane County

Financial support that is paid by one spouse to the other may go by several different names, including "spousal support" or "alimony." In Wisconsin, this form of support is known as "maintenance." When maintenance is ordered, the spouse who earns a higher income will be required to make payments on a monthly basis to the spouse with the lower income. However, Wisconsin law does not presume that alimony will be appropriate in every situation. Instead, the court must determine that these payments are necessary and appropriate based on the circumstances of a case. It is important to note that if a couple had a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place regarding maintenance, the agreement will be honored by the court as long as it does not create undue hardship for either party.

Section 767.56 of the Wisconsin Statutes lists several factors for the court to consider when determining the necessity of maintenance. These factors include:

  • How each spouse's age, physical health, and mental health may affect their income and financial resources
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The current and predicted earning ability of each spouse based on their education levels, work experience, and skills
  • Whether a person's absence from the job market or their child custody responsibilities will affect their employability
  • The feasibility of the lower-earning spouse to become self-sufficient at a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage and how long this is likely to take
  • Contributions made by either spouse to the other's career and employability
  • How the couple's marital assets will be divided in the divorce
  • The tax consequences that will apply to each party when decisions about maintenance are put into effect
  • Any other relevant factors that may affect the parties

Wisconsin law does not provide guidance or formulas for determining the amount or duration of an order for spousal support. If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, the judge will set the amount and duration in a manner that balances the needs of both spouses.

Safeguarding Your Future

At John T. Fields & Associates, LLC, our lawyers recognize that maintenance is often an important part of an equitable divorce settlement. If you earn less than your spouse does, we will do everything we can to ensure that you have the resources you need to begin your new life. If you are the primary wage-earner, we will work hard on your behalf to protect your rights and your best interests, ensuring that the requirement to pay maintenance will not cause you to suffer financial hardship. We can also help you understand the tax implications of your spousal support order as well.

If you experience changes in your financial circumstances after completing your divorce, we can help you understand whether post-divorce modifications to maintenance may be possible. Notably, spousal support obligations will automatically terminate if the person receiving maintenance remarries. If any payments were made after obligations should have been terminated, we can help address this issue and ensure that these payments are repaid.

Contact a Dane County Spousal Support Attorney

If you have any questions about maintenance in your Wisconsin divorce, contact us for legal help. Whether you expect to receive maintenance or are being asked to pay support to your spouse, we can ensure that the law will be applied correctly in your case, and we will advocate for solutions that will protect your financial interests. Call 608-729-3590 to set up a confidential consultation with a member of our team today. We serve clients in Dane County, Green County, Dodge County, Rock County, Jefferson County, and throughout Southern Wisconsin.

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