– from Benjamin Y. in Hartford, WI

Question Details:

While we were getting divorced, my wife and I entered into a stipulation to waive maintenance in exchange for my paying her section 71 payments for a predetermined amount of time. This was not to be altered. However, after several years, my income status has changed and I have not been able to comply with the section 71 payments. Is there a way to revise the stipulation under maintenance laws?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Unfortunately, I do not believe this is a possibility. Depending on the wording of the stipulation, you mentioned that these conditions were not to be altered. Though these payments may serve a similar function as maintenance, any alterations cannot be filed under maintenance.

This was seen in the case of Ross v. Ross 149 Wis. 2d 713, 439 N.W.2d 639 (Ct. App. 1989). The wording of the stipulation prevented the alteration of the stipulated agreement. The husband appealed the denial of revision., but the court of appeals affirmed.

My advice to you is to contact an experienced family law attorney. They may be able to help you obtain a manageable payment plan, or relieve a portion of the arrearages.

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Lawyer Holly Mullin from Sterling Law Offices
Holly Mullin, J.D.
Family Law Attorney

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