Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Wisconsin

Judges have significant discretion in determining whether spousal maintenance (popularly called "alimony") should be awarded and, if so, how much and for how long. They consider a wide range of factors, from the length of the marriage to the education level of both spouses.

When judges have discretion, the best thing you and your family lawyer can do is offer facts and clearly tell your story. Preparation, research and information — these are key. At Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., we are known for our trial preparation and skill. We know that winning results come from prepared cases. For alimony, this means gathering sufficient data to support our client's case for or against a spousal maintenance award.

What Factors Can a Judge Consider in an Alimony Case?

Under Wisconsin law, there is a list of 10 factors the court can consider when deciding alimony cases. These include:

  • How many years you have been married
  • Your age and health (and your spouse's)
  • How property was or is to be divided
  • Each spouse's education level now and when married
  • The earning capacity of the spouse requesting maintenance
  • The requesting spouse's ability to support him/herself at a comparable standard of living
  • How alimony would impact taxes
  • Any financial support agreements made between the spouses
  • Each spouse's contribution to the other's education or training
  • Any other factors the court finds relevant

Spousal maintenance awards can be for a limited or indefinite period of time, a decision the judge will make based on similar factors as those above.

Every Spousal Maintenance Case Is Unique

While alimony is becoming less and less common, there are still divorces where it makes sense. If spouses have been together for many years and one is a homemaker, then the homemaker spouse may be entitled to limited alimony — or indefinite alimony, if he or she will not be able to obtain the education necessary to become self-sufficient.

Each case, of course, is unique. We will use the specific factors in your case and your life to help argue for your stable financial future. To discuss your unique case with one of our family law attorneys, please call 608-620-0018 or contact us online. We are located in the heart of downtown Madison and offer off-site visits by appointment.