If a WI law changed can my divorce maintenance change too? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Wanda W. in River Hills, WI

Question Details:

My husband and I went through a divorce pro se. During the property division, the trial court decided to leave out my husband’s military pension. Originally I had no problem with that, but I then realized one law changed a while back that would allow the court to award part of the military pension to me. Can I appeal the original ruling to receive more maintenance?

Family Law Attorney Response:

More details are necessary for me to know about your exact case, however there is a chance you can appeal the case.

In the case of Tozer v. Tozer, 121 Wis.2d 187, 358 N.W. 537 (Ct. App. 1984) a mother sought to reopen based off the property division as the law changed regarding military pension. However, she already received more than 50 percent of the property division in the divorce. The court of appeals decided that when a trial court awards one party in a divorce more than 50 percent of a property division and originally awards certain relief, the trial court does not need to change their stance on relief, even if a law changes that allows relief. The trial court looks at the facts of the case and if the change would result in a more one-sided division in property, the trial court and court of appeals do not have to change its original ruling. The court can change it’s stance based on the facts and maintenance received already.

Give me a call so we can go over more of the facts for your case and figure out what is the best next step for you.


Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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