– from Alan Y. in Germantown, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I set prenuptial agreements up before our marriage. One phrase states that my wife will receive maintenance as long as we are “separated”. My wife is remarrying in a year. To me this means our agreement is over as she is no longer separated, she believes I must pay maintenance until she passes or we get back together. How will the courts interpret this?

Family Law Attorney Response:

I would like to hear more details regarding your maintenance agreement so we can find a solution to your problem, but this question can go either way.

In Levy v. Levy, 130 Wis.2d 523, 388 N.W.2d 170 (1986), the supreme court said that the meaning of a word in a legal document is a matter within the expertise of the court, and is not dependent upon the fact finder’s appraisal of the demeanor of witnesses or the credibility that may be ascribed to their testimony. This means it is to the discretion of the court overseeing the case and how the court views the phrase.

Give me a call so we can set up a consultation.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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