– from Justin K. in Shorewood, WI

Question Details:

When my wife and I filed for a divorce I signed a stipulation agreeing to pay maintenance for the next 20 years, regardless if she gets married. I firmly believed she would not get married and understood what I was agreeing to. It has been 16 years since our divorce and she is now engaged. Is there anyway I can avoid this stipulation before she gets married?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Unfortunately, I do not think there is anything I can do to help you from avoiding this stipulation. From the details it seems you understood what type of stipulation you were signing and what the consequences were.

In Rintleman v. Rintleman 115 Wis.2d 206, 339 N.W.2d 612 (Ct. App. 1983) (Affirmed by 118 Wis. 2d 587, 348 N.W.2d (1984)) a man tried to appeal his stipulation of paying maintenance for his ex-wife’s lifetime regardless if she gets married. The court of appeals ruled that if a person agrees to a stipulation (regardless of how egregious it is) and understands what it entails, then it is unfair to excuse the person of the signed stipulation, as he/she knew of the consequences and still agreed to it.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us and we can try to give you some guidance.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

lexis-nexis-image lawyers-image justia-image hg-image findlaw-image avvo-image