– from Maria H. in Addison, WI

Question Details:

My husband and I went through a divorce. During our 15-year marriage, he worked as a dentist and I received my associate's degree, but I was never employed. The judge awarded me maintenance for four years, which should have been sufficient time for me to find a stable employment opportunity. I took a few extra classes and thought I would get a job, however my mother fell ill a few months ago and my main focus switched to her health. I still do not have a stable income. My maintenance runs out in two months. Can I go to the judge and ask for a modification?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Thank you for your question. I would like to hear more details regarding your question to give you a better answer.

Fobes v. Fobes 124 Wis.2d 72, 368 N.W. 63 (1985) proved maintenance payments can be modified as long as it is what the original court would have ordered. The only time maintenance cannot be modified is if maintenance is waived. As long as the person waiving the maintenance is incorporated in the judgment, the judge cannot modify a waiver. However, maintenance does not change for all circumstances; there must be a significant change that shows the party receiving maintenance needed more maintenance and was unable to meet the court’s requirements.

Give me a call to discuss your mother’s illness and we can discuss the next step for altering your maintenance.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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