– from Kathryn I. in West Milwaukee, WI

Question Details:

My husband and I were divorced several years ago here in Wisconsin. About a year ago, he moved out of the state for a new job. We have no children, but he does pay maintenance. Unfortunately, my income has changed for the worse. Because of his new job, his income has greatly improved. I want to file for an increase in maintenance, but does Wisconsin still have jurisdiction over him?

Family Law Attorney Response:

It is very possible that the court will maintain jurisdiction because the divorce happened in Wisconsin. If anything, Wisconsin may be granted jurisdiction based on familiarity with the case. The courts in both states may decide that the judge who presided over the divorce is better suited to hear any further motions pertaining to the divorce.

In the instance of jurisdiction, the case of McAleavy v. McAleavy 150 Wis. 2d 26, 440 N.W.2d 566 (1989) saw a similar situation. The husband had moved to Tennessee, and the wife remained a resident of Wisconsin. The two married, resided in, and were divorced in Wisconsin before the husband’s move. The family court commissioner decided against jurisdiction in the first hearing, but reversed upon the second. The husband filed a request for de novo review of the commissioner’s reversal. The circuit court affirmed the commissioner’s decision.

My advice is to contact a family law attorney for a case review before proceeding.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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