How do Wisconsin courts determine fair maintenance? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Sarah Q. in St. Francis, WI

Question Details:

I am in the process of appealing my final divorce judgment. I just want to know if I have a legitimate complaint. I was a homemaker for over a decade during my marriage, while my husband made very good money. I was awarded maintenance in the final decision, but it is barely enough to live on. The court said that I can also use my share of the property division to support myself. Is this fair?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This is a very good question.I would need all of the facts to determine the most probable outcome. However, based on the information you have provided you do stand a very good chance of having the decision reversed and the amount or duration of your support increased.

As an example, I can cite a similar case. In the case of LaRocque v. LaRocque 139 Wis. 2d 23, 406 N.W.2d 736 (1987), the wife appealed a verdict giving her a sub-par maintenance award that would further decrease after five months, for a predetermined duration. The court of appeals affirmed the amount, but reversed the terms. The supreme court affirmed the duration, but reversed the amount. This was based on the fact that both must remain as close to their pre-divorce living standards equally, and both parties must share equal burden of maintaining two homes. The supreme court concluded that the wife should not be expected to live off a sub-par maintenance award, or that she should be expected to use her share of the property division to support herself.

You should contact a family law attorney right away to discuss the specifics of your case before proceeding.

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


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