Will a Wisconsin court let my ex-wife extend maintenance? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from George F. in Wauwatosa, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I were divorced a little over 5 years ago. At the time of divorce, I was ordered to pay maintenance for 5 years as part of the final divorce judgment. I made payments faithfully during this time, and sent the last payment about a month and a half ago. She recently told me that she needs the maintenance to continue for a while longer. She says she will be taking me to court for a modification request. Can she do this? Can she extend maintenance?

Family Law Attorney Response:

I cannot give you a definite or absolute answer because you never know what the courts are going to consider when making a judgment for alimony cases. They may consider extreme changes to her financial state or other life factors.

I will say that an extension is very unlikely. One positive in your situation is that she failed to request this modification during the predetermined maintenance period. She waited until after the final payment was made. In the case of Lippstreu v. Lippstreu 125 Wis. 2d 415, 373 N.W.2d 53 (Ct. App. 1985), a wife had also attempted to make request a modification for extending the maintenance, but waited until after the final payments. Her request was denied, she appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed. Your case is of course individual, and the outcome will vary based on the details of your case.

I advise you to contact a lawyer and provide him/her with the specifics of your situation in order to find the best course of action.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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