Can a WI court modify my maintenance? global $post;
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– from Amanda F. in Summit, WI

Question Details:

Despite all of the complexities of our divorce, the court awarded me maintenance and he incurred the credit card debt. There were many other provisions, awards, divisions, etc., but the maintenance and credit card debt are the important part.. He recently filed for bankruptcy, so he has been excused by another court from paying the credit card debt. Now, the debt has fallen on me. Because of this, can I request that my maintenance award be adjusted?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Adjustments or modifications to maintenance awards can be made when a financial change can be demonstrated to the court to satisfaction. There are several factors here. Primarily, are you looking for a change in amount or duration? Due to the bankruptcy, his financial change may exclude an increase in the amount, but the duration may be modified.

The fact that you have been given financial debt by him demonstrates a change in your financial situation. You may be able to increase the duration of the maintenance award due to this change. In the case of Eckert v. Eckert 144 Wis. 2d 770, 424 N.W.2d 759 (Ct. App. 1988), a similar situation occurred. It is not uncommon for someone who is given the burden of financial debt to file for bankruptcy. In this case an increase in maintenance was denied, but the maintenance award was extended indefinitely.

Contact an attorney to discuss the details of your case. You may be surprised by the outcome.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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