– from Howard U. in Oconomowoc, WI

Question Details:

At the time of my divorce, I was ordered to pay child support for our two children. I was also ordered to pay my wife maintenance because she didn't get a chance to finish her schooling. However, I am paying so much in support that I cannot afford to pay the required maintenance. Now that I'm filing for bankruptcy, can I motion to have the child support and maintenance reduced or terminated?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This would depend on the wording of the divorce judgment. More than likely, you will still be obligated to pay the child support no matter what.

The question is whether you are entitled to have the maintenance award modified. In the case of Erath v. Erath 141 Wis. 2d 948, 417 N.W.2d 407 (Ct. App. 1987) a similar situation occurred and the husband also declared bankruptcy. After his motion was denied by circuit court and court of appeals, the supreme court denied his motion to reduce child support, but did allow a modification of the maintenance.

I advise you to contact a family law attorney to discuss your options.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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